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Tiny Berkshire County town of Savoy bans wind turbines 101-22  

Credit:  By Mary C. Serreze, Special to The Republican, masslive.com ~~

Voters in this tiny Berkshire County hilltown, population around 800, overwhelmingly banned all new wind turbine development at a special town meeting.

Thursday night’s vote was 101-22, far more than the two-thirds majority needed to amend the town’s zoning code.

The vote overturns a 2008 ordinance that allowed and encouraged the turbines. Since then, many residents have been fighting a five-turbine proposal by Minuteman Wind, LLC, based in Newton, and by co-developer Palmer Capital Corp., based in Cohasset.

The new bylaw will not effect Minuteman’s permitting. The $31 million facility on 293 acres won a special permit from the town in 2010. Revived in 2016, it won a wetlands permit from the state.

However, voters months ago rejected the developers’ bid to allow 450-foot towers, placing the 12.5-megawatt project in limbo.

Opponents cited noise, wildlife, and scenic impacts, and organized their neighbors. Residents in nearby Hawley, a Franklin County town, also opposed the project.

As recently as June, Savoy authorized a payment agreement with Palmer to bring revenue to the town, which hosts many acres of non-taxable state forest. The site is owned by longtime resident Harold “Butch” Malloy, who has a 20-year lease arrangement with Minuteman Wind, LLC.

Source:  By Mary C. Serreze, Special to The Republican, masslive.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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