FALMOUTH – Selectmen voted Monday night to shut off the town’s two wind turbines at 9 p.m. and turn them back on at 5 a.m. every day as part of their new operational plan, which begins today.
The turbines had been off from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., but the selectmen voted two weeks ago to increase their operation to 16 hours a day in an effort to generate enough revenue to cover their operational cost. The 12-hour operation does not do that.
Town Manager Julian Suso said Monday the town’s energy consultants, Sustainable Energy Advantage, recommended shutting the turbines down from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. to catch the most productive hours for wind power generation. But after several comments during the meeting from neighbors – most of whom still favor shutting down the turbines all together – the selectmen opted by a 3-2 margin to move the shutdown time to an earlier slot. Selectmen Kevin Murphy and Rebecca Moffitt voted against the measure.
The two 1.65-megawatt turbines at the town’s wastewater facility on Blacksmith Shop Road have been the focus of an ongoing debate since their installation. Neighbors complain about noise and health issues and others say the town must run them to recoup their installation costs and provide a source of renewable energy.
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