Mr. Woodwell is incorrect in his assertion that special state legislation confers the right to operate a turbine notwithstanding any other law. This idea has been tried by the town’s legal counsel in more than one court case and found faulty each time. The legislation he points to simply allows the town to operate a wind energy facility with energy accounts kept separate from the general fund. It does not allow the town to be negligent or to skip the engineering studies required to properly site a megawatt-scale turbine.
When Town Meeting was asked to approve the purchase of a turbine, no such study had been done to assess impacts, nor was the size of the turbine included in the presentation. We have learned from those mistakes.
The special legislation Mr. Woodwell points to does not pardon or condone the nuisance that improper siting created. Falmouth did not implement by-right siting of turbines and has updated the windmill bylaw to limit the scale of turbines to 15 percent of the capacity of Wind 1 and 2. The highest level of state judiciary has determined that all turbines require a special permit. Both turbines lack a special permit and have been ordered to cease operations by the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals and the Superior Court because they create a nuisance.
The selectmen are right to move on. In solar we have found a truly clean source of power to replace the problem-plagued, monstrous wind turbines.
Jayne B. Abbott, Metoxit Road, Waquoit
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