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Plymouth Planning Board: Wind turbine proposed behind Stop & Shop  

Residents opposed to wind turbines say turbines hurt their property values, health and quality of life. Research on the subject is far from conclusive. A state study appeared to refute claims that wind turbines could negatively impact health and acknowledged the possibility at the same time, while a Maine study determined wind turbines that impacted people’s sleep patterns posed a health risk. A court ruling questioned the validity of this latter study, essentially dismissing it, raising more questions than answers about a debate that continues to plague town officials and courts across the country.

Credit:  By Emily Clark | Wicked Local Plymouth | Jan 20, 2013 | www.wickedlocal.com ~~

PLYMOUTH – The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC is hoping to build a wind turbine off Route 3’s Exit 6.

After all the hoopla Kingston’s turbines have generated, it remains to be seen how such a visible turbine will be received in America’s Hometown.

The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC submitted plans Jan. 10 for a 275-foot wind turbine behind the Stop & Shop Supermarket at 129 Samoset St. The wind turbine would be sited approximately 600 feet from Algonquin Heights apartment complex and 962 feet from the nearest home on Westerly Road.

The proposed turbine would generate 850-kilowatts and would be similar in size to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s wind turbine in the Buzzards Bay area. Drivers, nearby residents and pedestrians would see it looming above the plaza and from their yards or windows.

“The question that should be asked within the community is, ‘If you can see it, is it too close?’” Planning Technician and Energy Officer Patrick Farah said. “Obviously, staff does not have the answer to that question.”

Farah thumbed through Stop & Shop’s plans for the project, which included an environmental impact statement and report, shadow flicker analysis and environmental sound study. According to The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, the company wants to raise a turbine behind the plaza to offset utility costs and be environmentally responsible at the same time.

“It would be installed on a 55-meter steel monopole tower and utilize a 58-meter rotor diameter to capture the existing wind resource on-site and supplement electricity to operate the store,” the company writes in a statement submitted with the application. “Approximately the size of the wind turbine installed at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Bourne, the Stop & Shop wind turbine, if installed, would be the smallest commercial grade turbine in Plymouth to date.”

Plymouth has only one wind commercial grade turbine to date, and that is located off Camelot Drive. It rises 364 feet from the ground. Unlike other wind turbine projects in Plymouth and neighboring towns, this one generated no pushback since it was located far from homes in an industrial area. But Plymouth is no stranger to the firestorm of debate wind turbines are fueling.

All but one appeal of Future Wind Generations’ four approved turbines for 810 Head of the Bay Road were settled last year. Associated Wind Developers’ approved wind turbine at 143 Hedges Pond Road is under appeal and yet to be constructed. Colony Place LLC’s proposal for a wind turbine generated opposition, but its approval was not appealed. The company owns Colony Place and all the buildings therein.

Residents opposed to wind turbines say turbines hurt their property values, health and quality of life. Research on the subject is far from conclusive.

A state study appeared to refute claims that wind turbines could negatively impact health and acknowledged the possibility at the same time, while a Maine study determined wind turbines that impacted people’s sleep patterns posed a health risk. A court ruling questioned the validity of this latter study, essentially dismissing it, raising more questions than answers about a debate that continues to plague town officials and courts across the country.

Stop & Shop’s proposed turbine would be located in an arterial commercial zone and requires a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals. The company says it has been considering the feasibility of installing a wind turbine at this location for two years as part of a company-wide renewable energy initiative to reduce its carbon footprint. The company is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and says it has been awarded LEED environmentally green certification for more than 50 of its stores, and that it has been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency for its environmentally conscious approach.

Source:  By Emily Clark | Wicked Local Plymouth | Jan 20, 2013 | www.wickedlocal.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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