FAIRHAVEN – Selectmen have decided not to sign on to a letter drafted by wind turbine developer Fairhaven Wind LLC touting the benefits of the two industrial wind turbines on town owned land. At their meeting March 16, they said the language was a little too glowing and more like a press release.
One issue was the language of a proposed quote the developer wanted to come from one of the selectmen. The board decided instead of editing the press release, they should tell the developer to issue its own press release without involving the Board of Selectmen.
Selectman Geoff Haworth said some of the language in the press release could be confusing to residents. He said to the average person it is “misleading.”
Haworth said he was not comfortable with quotes the developer wanted to come from selectmen. He objected to language calling the financial rewards “critical to the town’s budget.” He said if the company name, Fairhaven Wind, was on the press release as the originator, it can do what it wants.
Chairman Robert Espindola objected to a quote the developer wanted to come from selectmen calling it a “win-win.” He also said he would want to see more backup on the numbers.
Executive Secretary Jeffery Osuch said the town has reaped more than $500,000 from the turbines in two and a half years, exceeding 25 percent profit. About half the income comes from the $100,000 annual lease.
The electricity generated from the wind turbines goes into the grid. The town pays Fairhaven Wind 7.77 cents per kilowatt hour. After the meeeting, Osuch said NStar, now called Eversource, pays the town the difference of what it charges per kilowatt hour and what the town pays Fairhaven Wind. He asid that difference has generated another $250,000 in income for the town since the turbines were up and running, on top of about $250,000 from the lease.
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