It’s important for Falmouth to recognize what benefits exist from the municipal wind turbines.
State data indicate Massachusetts emits 84.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. The wind turbine option process final report estimates our turbines reduce 3,306 tons annually. That means our turbines reduce the state’s CO2 emissions by 0.00389 percent annually.
In revenue terms, according to the final report, applying the 12-hours-on curtailment model over the next five years of turbine operations will produce a revenue surplus estimated between $100 to $8,000 annually. Town Manager Julian Suso recently noted to the finance committee that current operations are financially unsustainable. Falmouth’s fiscal cliff with the wind turbines has arrived.
If there were a major reduction of CO2 emission, it could be argued that health and property costs to the few might be compensated or even endured for the higher good. There is no such benefit. The reports from the options process and from Mr. Suso indicate no net revenue gain. It’s effectively costing the town money. The community’s cost-benefit ledger forces the question – “is it really worth it?”
Mark J. Cool
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