FALMOUTH – Relocating a wind turbine could earn Falmouth a $5 million profit.
Stephen Wiehe, an associate from the engineering firm hired to seek a new location for Wind II, Weston & Sampson, said the Town of Falmouth would profit $5.7 million dollars over the next 20 years if the town moves one of the two turbines it owns to another spot on the wastewater treatment plant property.
The move would make the turbine operational once again.
The town would pay $3 million to dismantle and relocate the turbine roughly a half mile northeast of its current location.
Once moved and operational, the 400-foot tower would cover the initial $3 million investment and produce another $5.7 million in profit.
“Probable costs to move it at an alternate location on the wastewater treatment property is about $3,025,000. This is based on what is typically done from the geotechnical design and permitting. There’s civil site improvements, that’s basically the roadway and the duct bank. There’s structural site improvements are the foundation system that support Wind I and Wind II,” Wiehe explained.
“To develop an opinion of probable cost to move that wind turbine, we looked at some alternate uses of Wind I and then added an economic analysis because most feasibility studies are focused on technical feasibility.”
Selectmen were pleased with the report, despite a shaky history with some living in the vicinity of the turbines.
Area residents living near Wind I and Wind II have complained in years past, with several lawsuits being filed related health effects attributed to the turbines.
Barnstable Superior Court Judge Cornelius Moriarty agreed in 2017 that the turbines caused a nuisance and ordered them to cease operation at their current location.
In 2015, the state appeals court ruled that Wind I needed a special permit to continue operation, which the Zoning Board of Appeals then denied the turbine. Wind I is said to likely be use supply Wind II with spare parts.
One resident questioned selectmen on Weston & Sampson’s decision to only look into the wastewater treatment plant for a potential relocation site, and nowhere else in the town.
Wiehe says that some other positives come out of relocating Wind II, including the flicker of light caused by the sun on the rotating blades of the turbine. He says only some commercial properties will be effected by the flicker and that no residential properties would be effected.
“If Wind I is not legal where it stands, then you have to look at either moving it or taking it down, and so some of the alternate uses may have been turning it into a cellular tower, or resale. It could also potentially be used for spare parts,” said Wiehe.
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