- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

State paid for turbine options process

Falmouth Wind Turbine Options Process’s report to the Falmouth Board of Selectmen this week cost the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center $388,000 to produce. Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, which is a state agency under the Division of Energy and Environmental Affairs, agreed to study the acoustics and explore mitigation options related to the town-owned wind turbines at the wastewater treatment plant that residents nearby said disrupted their health and quality of life, and lowered property values.

The total included $139,000 for the work of Consensus Building Institute of Cambridge to facilitate the group, according to Matthew Kakley of MassCEC. Facilitator Stacie N. Smith and an assistant attended all 24 of the meetings, which usually lasted between two and a half and three hours. They also collected reports from the other consultants and provided documents to the group members. Ms. Smith also wrote the final report.

MassCEC hired wind technology consultant DNV Kema for $141,000 to study how to cut down the noise from the turbines as well as how much energy production would drop if the turbines were turned off for any length of time, Mr. Kakley said. MassCEC paid $70,000 to Acentech, an acoustics consultant, to study the sound patterns created by the turbines and to look at different options related to masking the sounds and sound-cancellation techniques, Mr. Kakley said. Wind Turbine Options Process members said they were not happy with the work provided by Acentech.

MassCEC also hired financial analysts Sustainable Energy Advantage LLC for $38,000 to look into the costs that the town could expect with the different options presented, Mr. Kakley said.

The reports may not be finished. As part of the final report, the Wind Turbine Options Process recommended additional acoustical measurements around the turbines. MassCEC has offered to provide the additional sound testing.