Scituate, Massachusetts is a coastal community known for its breathtaking views and waterfront property.
It’s also the latest town debating the unintended consequences of having a wind turbine near homes, businesses, and a golf course.
“Even with windows closed, it wakes me up,” resident David Dardi said.
For starters, he said it’s causing him health problems like ringing of the ears and headaches. And it’s what you can’t see that’s become a nuisance.
“You can hear this whoosh, whoosh, whoosh as the blades pass,” Dardi said.
Last year, town selectmen heard the complaints loud and clear, and the board of health started tracking the related grievances.
Acting Town Administrator Al Bangert said they agreed to shut down the turbine during the hours of 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. when the wind blows from the southwest. “To try to mitigate some of the concerns,” Bangert said.
Officials said since then, complaints have dropped more than 60 percent.
But there has been a financial cost as well. Bangert is forecasting a financial loss of more than $100,000 per year whenever the blades power down.
The 400-foot tall turbine has been set up on the driftway since 2012. It powers half the town, remains an important source of renewable energy, and saves money.
Neighbors like Dardi said it’s not worth it when the town puts profits over people.
“That’s morally and ethically wrong,” he said.
Dardi said he’s trying to be patient and is giving the town some time to consider other solutions before he looks into legal options.
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