Taking down the town’s wind turbines is taking longer than expected.
“We are still working with consultant Weston & Sampson in crafting a proposal,” Town Manager Julian M. Suso said. “It is likely going to be an RFQ [request for qualifications] rather than an RFP [request for proposals]. We are working on that, along with our legal counsel, procurement officer and Weston & Sampson. We are getting close.”
Mr. Suso said the town will likely issue this request for qualifications by the end of October. The RFQ will examine the responding company’s qualifications and ability to perform the work.
This RFQ is part of the town’s effort to relocate and operate its two Vestas 1.65-megawatt, V-82 wind turbines with 80-meter-tall towers from the wastewater treatment plant site on Blacksmith Shop Road to an alternative location outside Falmouth.
In June, Mr. Suso said he expected to issue an RFP regarding the wind turbines within 30 days. The matter proved more complicated than expected.
“Going through the procurement process, we found out there were a few other hoops we have to jump through,” he said. “Our consultant and legal [team] helped identify those.”
He noted this process is breaking new ground.
“No one in the commonwealth, to our knowledge, has had to disassemble, relocate or dismantle wind turbines owned by a municipality and paid for by the taxpayers,” Mr. Suso said. “We are working earnestly on it and are getting closer to the finish line of issuing an RFQ.”
Earlier this year, nine companies and organizations responded to the town’s request for letters of interest regarding the wind turbine relocation project. Bluestem Energy Solutions of Omaha, Nebraska; Empyreal Power of San Diego; Bay Crane Northeast of Smithfield, Rhode Island; Agilitas Energy LLC of Wakefield, and Industria Development Group of Buzzards Bay responded with letters of interest.
In addition, Vestas American Wind Technology of Portland, Oregon; IMS of San Diego, California; Centerline Communications of West Bridgewater, and Joint Base Cape Cod expressed a general interest in the town’s wind turbines.
This work follows a January vote by the Falmouth Board of Selectmen, which asked town administration to create an RFP to either lease property outside Falmouth to run the wind turbines, sell the turbines, or repurpose a wind turbine tower as a cellphone and repeater tower.
The wind turbines were installed in 2009 and 2010. Wind 1 was shut down in September 2015 after the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals issued a cease-and-desist order. Wind 2 was shut down in June 2017, after Barnstable County Superior Court Judge Cornelius J. Moriarty II upheld the zoning board of appeals’ decision deeming the turbines a nuisance.
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