FAIRHAVEN – The developer of Fairhaven’s two wind turbines decided Friday night to resume overnight turbine operation just five days after the Board of Health ordered the turbines be turned off overnight.
Palmer Capital Corporation President Gordon Deane wrote in a letter to town officials that the turbines had been “voluntarily curtailed” since Monday, “however, at present there is no legal obligation for Fairhaven Wind to curtail or alter its operations.”
Deane could not be reached for comment, but Developer Sumul Shah said the company had not received the Board of Health’s order in writing.
“Until the Board of Health issues the order we are not curtailing the turbines,” he said. He would not say if the operations would be curtailed once an order is received saying, “we’ll have to see what it says.”
Chairman of the Board of Health Peter DeTerra said the Board will sign the required paperwork and send it to Fairhaven Wind on Monday. But, he said, Fairhaven Wind “should be in good faith and leave them off.”
“It’s a common courtesy for the people of Fairhaven,” he said. “(The Developers) should respect the decision of the Board of Health.”
Board of Selectmen member Geoffrey Haworth said the distinction Deane and Shah made between hearing the Board of Health’s vote and reading an order was merely semantics.
“They know the will of the board, they were sitting there during the vote,” he said. “If they turn the turbines on at night because they don’t have a piece of paper, that’s not working in good faith.”
In his statement Deane said Fairhaven Wind “remains genuinely interested in working with the town” to address turbine concerns.
Haworth said he wasn’t so sure, especially given that the notice was sent to town officials at 10 p.m. on Friday.
“Everyone knows government shuts town at 4:30 p.m. on Friday and doesn’t reopen until 9 a.m. Monday,” he said. “If they wanted to work with us, they would have at least given us notice during normal business hours.”
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