Falmouth Selectmen must obtain a special permit for a controversial wind turbine, five years after it was erected.
After meeting in executive session yesterday, selectmen have asked Falmouth Town Manager Julian Suso to request a special permit from the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals for the Wind I turbine, which is located at the wastewater treatment facility off Blacksmith Shop Road.
The Falmouth building commissioner’s decision that a special permit was not required for the turbine was overturned by the Supreme Judicial Court after an appeal by Falmouth residents who want the turbine shut down.
Chairman of the Falmouth Board of Selectmen Douglas Jones said they will be not be shutting down the turbine—at least not yet.
“The court did not rule the town to cease the operation of Wind I until a special permit is issued, but left it up to the building commissioner to take enforcement action,” said Jones in a prepared announcement made in public session when the board came out of executive session.
A previous court decision stated that the Wind I turbine could only be used from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. six days a week and not on Sundays and holidays.
Jones said they have to run the turbine.
“The town has financial obligations regarding Wind I, including payments on a bond, and the requirement to pay [Massachusetts Clean Energy Center] for renewable energy certificates not delivered if Wind I operates fewer than 70 hours per week on average, unless there’s a court order regarding an operational time less than that,” said Jones.
Jones added that a response to legal action brought on by neighbors who want selectmen to stop the turbine immediately will be addressed on June 18.
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