While Fairhaven’s controversial wind turbines have saved the town money, they also haven’t been performing up to expectation.
On Monday, Fairhaven Wind, LLC presented data on their turbines from the past four years during the Board of Selectmen meeting.
Fairhaven Wind member, Sumul Shah said wind speeds have failed to meet expectations all around the region, which means the turbines have only produced 77% from what was estimated.
“So a small change in wind speed has a huge impact on production,” Shah said.
Despite these shortcomings, Shah said the project is still doing good in town. Along with reducing Fairhaven’s carbon footprint, the turbines produce an estimated $250,000 in net income for the town each year, with that number expected to increase with electric rates on the rise.
However, all these numbers had some residents wondering if the money was worth more than their well-being.
After Fairhaven Wind’s presentation, two residents who live near the turbines spoke out.
Local John Methia told WBSM News the company previously said they would provide sound deadening to local houses and air conditioning to help deal with the constant noise from the turbines. Methia said Fairhaven Wind has yet to do either four years into the project.
During the meeting, resident Caroline Young said her children often have trouble sleeping at night, and can’t stay in rooms on the turbine side of their house.
Young also complained about the turbines’ ‘flicker’ effect during the day.
With the sun shining into her house, Young said the giant rotating fans repetitively block out the light to create a flicker throughout the day.
“We want to make it clear that what we find the town benefits from these turbines is insignificant compared to the impact on those who live around, and in the shadows of these turbines,” Methia said.