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Time controller malfunctions on Wind 2

One of the town-owned wind turbines at the Falmouth Waste-water Treatment Plant ran Sunday night into Monday morning, prompting complaints from West Falmouth residents.

Falmouth Wastewater Superintendent Gerald C. Potamis said Wind 2 did not shut down as planned on Sunday night at 7 PM, and was still running the next morning. The turbine is scheduled to shut down at 7 PM each night and turn back on again the next morning at 7 AM. “The time of day control did not work for some reason,” Mr. Potamis said.

J. Malcolm Donald of Ambleside Drive sent an e-mail to town officials on Sunday night around 11 PM stating that Wind 2 was still running. “Why?” he wrote. That e-mail was followed by one by Linda Ohkagawa of West Falmouth Highway at 2:10 AM reporting ear pressure and pain. Falmouth Town Manager Julian M. Suso apologized to Mr. Donald and Ms. Ohkagawa on Monday morning via e-mail. Wind 2 was then shut down for the Christmas holiday and turned back on again Wednesday morning.

The situation makes clear that issues with the town-owned wind turbines remain contentious. Mark J. Cool of Firetower Road wrote to Mr. Suso that they should use the manual switch at the wastewater facility to shut the turbine down. “Mr. Suso, I believe the neighbors don’t want any further apologies! Your time would be better spent fixing the immediate problem. Use your managerial skills, and in the event of similar future circumstance, USE the “OFF” switch,” he wrote.

But Mr. Potamis said no one complained for several hours while Wind 2 was on after 7 PM. “If it’s so annoying, why does it take five hours for people to notice it’s on,” Mr. Potamis said. “I think it was hysteria by power of suggestion,” he said.

Wind 1 is currently shut down because of a problem with condensation on a high-voltage switch that occurred after it was shut down for Thanksgiving last month. In his note to Mr. Suso, Mr. Cool said his family’s health had improved 100 percent since Wind 1 has been off.