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Falmouth inches closer to turbine removal

November 22, 2021 Falmouth’s Select Board was provided a wind turbine disposition update.

The final review of the bid documents (RFP – request for proposals) by the town staff, the town’s special counsel, the contracted project/procurement consultant (Westin & Sampson) and the town’s Waste Water Superintendent was completed last week. It’s notable that in the Sept 13 2019 edition of the Falmouth Enterprise – Town Manager Julian M. Suso said “… Taking down the town’s wind turbines is taking longer than expected. “… We are still working with consultant Weston & Sampson in crafting a proposal,” “… We are working on that, along with our legal counsel, procurement officer and Weston & Sampson. We are getting close.”

Before the bid is publicly issued in mid to late December, the town will conduct a meeting with the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust (CWT). The bid (RFP) will be open to receive responses for 90 days. The purpose of the CWT meeting is to ensure the CWT is aware of the town’s intended action items concerning turbine removal and to review with the CWT potential resolution of the town’s liability (ARRA [American Recovery and Reinvestment Act] loan obligation – $2.9 million by 2029). This meeting will be the third of its kind since 2017 in the town’s effort to negotiate loan forgiveness.

It was explained to selectmen that due to an existing interconnection agreement between the town and Eversource (electrical power utility) involving combined wind turbine/Waste Water Treatment Plant electrical systems, a new agreement will be required to modify equipment liability/responsibility terms, in addition to implementing new electrical system upgrades. It was further explained that this agreement and equipment upgrade requirements can be conducted separately and will not impede the intended wind turbine removal timeline.

When the bid (RFP) process closes the Select Board will be provided results and options. Finally, once a contractor is determined and a scheduled removal commencement date established, it was expected that the removal process will take less than 4 months.