The Falmouth Select Board is petitioning the state for the right to intervene in Mayflower Wind’s proposal to run electric cables under Falmouth Heights.
Chairman Douglas C. Brown said the town will suggest alternative routes and may turn down the company’s request to override local zoning laws that would allow the cables to pass under the residential neighborhood.
“We have not reached a conclusion yet on the stance we are taking, but we petitioned the state because we want to make sure had a seat at the table,” Mr. Brown said after the board met in executive session on Monday, March 14. The board had just met in executive session to discuss the project and negotiate a community host agreement.
Mr. Brown and other board members will participate in an upcoming public session held by the Massachusetts Energy Siting Board. The session will be held via Zoom on Thursday, March 24, and is open to the public. Public officials and members of the public will have an opportunity during the hearing to ask questions and make comments. The siting board will also accept written comments through Thursday, April 7.
During the hearing, Mayflower Wind will present an overview of the project, which is to deliver power from offshore wind turbines to the electrical grid through undersea cables using a connection point in Falmouth Heights. Mayflower Wind is building a 1,200-megawatt wind farm about 20 nautical miles south of the western end of Nantucket.
The plan is running against opposition from Falmouth residents, mostly from the Falmouth Heights neighborhood, who cite health and environmental concerns from the cables.
Mayflower Wind’s planned route is under Falmouth Heights Beach to a connection in the beach parking lot. It then runs underground of Worcester Park and Worcester Court, across Davis Straits, to Jones Road, to Gifford Street, and then either to Lawrence Lynch substation or to an alternative substation at Cape Cod Aggregates on Blacksmith Shop Road.
The alternative route is under Falmouth Heights Beach to a connection at the foot of Central Park Avenue. It is then buried diagonally across Central Park ballfield, under Crescent Avenue, to Falmouth Heights Road, to Davis Straits and to Jones Road. From there, the path is the same as the preferred route stated above.
“We will be there to talk about it,” Mr. Brown said, who expressed concern that Mayflower Wind officials filed with the state its preferred route of Falmouth Heights without speaking to the town first.
“I feel like it was done behind our back,” he said. The town preferred a route that would use Surf Drive, but Mayflower Wind said that route is not viable due to the proximity to existing underground and undersea cables in that area that serve Martha’s Vineyard.
Anyone interested in commenting at the hearing can do so in several ways, including by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with name, email address and mailing address by Wednesday, March 23.
Those planning to comment by telephone, must leave a voicemail message at 617-305-3529 with name, telephone number, and mailing address by Wednesday, March 23.
The weblink for the hearing is https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83351866878. For audio-only participation, attendees can dial in at 646-558-8658 (not toll free) and then enter the Webinar ID: 833 5186 6878.
Written comments on the proposed Mayflower Project may also be submitted. The state siting board says comments will be most useful if submitted by this date.
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