KINGSTON – The town’s seven-year experiment with wind power inches closer to its conclusion with a cease-and-desist order shutting the Independence turbine down for good.
Town Administrator Tom Calter at Tuesday night’s Finance Committee meeting said the turbine will be decommissioned, with owner Kingston Wind Independence bearing the cost.
“It will have to come down,” Calter said.
However, until the turbine is down, the town will have to continue paying Eversource for electricity for the required flashing red lights or beacons to avoid in-air accidents and for other equipment located inside the turbine.
The Finance Committee approved setting aside $10,000 to supplement the fiscal 2020 Renewable Energy Enterprise Fund budget to pay this cost for as long as electricity is no longer required.
Calter said he formally requested Tuesday that Eversource cut off power to the turbine but could not say how long it will take before the request is approved.
Calter confirmed that KWI is essentially out of business, owing the town more than $600,000, after being an ongoing concern. It has been in operation since 2012 but has been a source of controversy with noise complaints and complaints about the flicker effect.
He said the second Board of Health abatement order that put increased restrictions on operation of the turbine basically put KWI out of business.
A few weeks ago, the Renewable Energy Grant and Loan Opportunity program was suspended with the turbine out of service. Twenty-five percent of the income generated by the turbine was being directed into the REGLO program residents could apply to their own renewable energy projects.
The planned 2.3-megawatt solar array on the capped landfill could be a source of revenue for the program in the future.
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