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Duxbury Wind Advisory Committee formed

DUXBURY – While Duxbury has been turning to solar energy to meet its renewable energy goals, a new committee has been formed to study future wind development.

Selectmen appointed the seven-member Wind Advisory Committee Monday night. The decision to form the committee resulted from a compromise between the town’s Alternative Energy Committee and members of the citizen’s group Duxbury Wind Wise.

Susan Fontaine and Tom Burton will represent the Alternative Energy Committee, and Jack Murphy and Dan Ryan will represent Duxbury Wind Wise. Selectmen had a choice of three Wind Wise members who applied. The three at-large members are Andreas Klein, Jim Savicki and Bob Knapp.

Selectman David Madigan questioned whether the committee would be a permanent committee or a temporary one, with both it and the AEC on a parallel course focused on renewable energy.

Selectmen Chairman Ted Flynn said that could be a decision made once the committee is further along in its work.

“I think at some point maybe they get together and say, OK let’s put this into one committee,” he said.

AEC Chairman Jim Goldenberg said he expects it will be a temporary committee that could do its work in two or three years and be folded into the permanent committee. He said he thinks it’s the right time for formation of the committee with the state reviewing the wind turbine study released in January and talk of acoustic data requirements for wind turbines in light of the decision to shut down the wind turbine in Falmouth.

“There’s a lot of attention being focused on this in the state, and there’s going to be a lot of discussion and research over the next couple of years,” he said. “I think it’s a great time for this committee to be aware of that and working on that.”

With the AEC focused on solar power for meeting most of the town’s energy needs, Madigan said, one question is whether there will be a need for a wind turbine in town.

The scope of the committee is three-fold. The first is to study the potential opportunities and risks of future wind turbine development in Duxbury, including economic, aesthetic and health aspects.

The second and third are to educate and inform the community about wind energy and considerations of wind turbine development and to propose possible changes to the existing Wind Bylaw, if needed, at a future Town Meeting. Duxbury Wind Wise withdrew a proposal for changes at Town Meeting this past spring.

Murphy will be asked to organize the first meeting of the committee. Flynn will be the board’s liasion to the new committee.