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Overnight turbine shutdown could cost Fairhaven in negotiations

FAIRHAVEN – Members of the Turbine Steering Committee are considering a proposal that could cost Fairhaven one-third of its revenue in exchange for turning the turbines off overnight.

The proposal by turbine developer Fairhaven Wind LLC would write the overnight shutdown into the contract with the town in return for the town’s share of what is called a transmission, transition and distribution (TTD) rate, sources with knowledge of the negotiations said.

The TTD rate is a charge NStar pays to Fairhaven Wind and the town in exchange for the wiring between the two turbines and the electric grid being maintained. Of that TTD rate, Fairhaven earns 20 percent while Fairhaven Wind earns the other 80 percent.

In the first year of turbine operation, the TTD rate comprised roughly one-third of the $151,400 in revenue for the town. Another proposal on the table being made by the town would be for the Board of Health to reduce the number of hours in its mandated overnight shutdown of the turbines. In exchange, Fairhaven Wind would pay for an independent acoustic analysis of the turbines, sources with knowledge of the negotiations said.

Reached by phone Wednesday, Sumul Shah of Fairhaven Wind would not comment on the negotiations or the two proposals, saying “we have all been sworn to secrecy.”

“To the extent that stuff is leaking out, that may or may not have been said or taken out of context,” he said. “I think it is counterproductive.”

Selectman Charlie Murphy, a Steering Committee member, would say only that there are “still many options on the table.”

“Right now, we are just making proposals back and forth,” he said.