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Hopkinton residents debate wind farm law

The town of Hopkinton is looking at a local law that would restrict where a developer can put the wind farm it wants to build.

Avangrid Renewables’ proposed project would include 27 wind turbines.

The proposed law says the wind turbines would have to stay 2,500 feet away from a neighbor’s property line. There’s a noise limit and the law would restrict the turbines to areas north of State Route 72.

“We’re looking to have a protective law for the health and safety of our community,” town council member Kelly Pullano said.

Residents had a chance to voice their opinions at a public hearing Wednesday night.

Some were there to express their feelings against the wind farm.

“Turning Hopkinton into an industrial wind facility is not being good steward,” resident Janice Pease said, “nor is it to be seen as our contribution to the greater good.”

Others came to express the benefits of having a wind farm

“I think you need to look at the towns in Franklin and Lewis Counties where residents and taxes have stayed stable or went down because wind revenue funded their budgets,” another resident said.

Scott McDonald with Avangrid Renewables says the proposed law is unreasonable and provides no increase in public safety.

“The project cannot meet the sounds and setback limits proposed in the current law,” he said.

Avangrid has offered to sweeten the deal by offering to pay up to 75 percent of some residents’ electric bills.

The town board will vote on the proposed law when it meets on April 16.