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After years of uncertainty, Falmouth wind turbines to be demolished  

Credit:  Asad Jung | Cape Cod Times | June 6, 2022 | www.capecodtimes.com ~~

The saga of Falmouth’s largest renewable energy project appears to be finally nearing a close, now that the town has hired Atlantic Coast Dismantling LLC to demolish two wind turbines.

The job will cost $39,950, but the town may have to pay more due to electric work and site restoration, said Town Manager Peter Johnson Staub.

The Massachusetts Clean Water Trust also agreed to accept a minimum payment of $975,000 from the town to resolve its loan. The initial loan the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust gave the town to build the turbines was $4,865,000.

“It’s been a contentious issue for a long time, and we’re pleased to bring it to a closure,” said Johnson-Staub.

A turbulent history

Known as Wind 1 and Wind 2, the turbines were installed in 2010 and 2013, respectively, at the wastewater treatment facility on Blacksmith Shop Road to support renewable energy initiatives. However, once the turbines were operational neighbors began filing lawsuits to shut them down due to noise and what they claimed were turbine-related health problems such as headaches, anxiety, and problems sleeping.

After years of legal battles and town debates, the Select Board voted in July 2017 to shut down the turbines.

But the difficulties for the town didn’t stop there. Once the turbines were no longer running, the town needed to find a way to dismantle them and either find another use or dispose of them.

The town initially wanted to have the turbines moved and operated elsewhere, though that idea never got off the ground. Falmouth also faced pushback from the state which denied its request to dismantle the turbines saying they were an “energy-efficient project.”

With the recent contract award and loan forgiveness, the town has taken an important step towards relieving itself of the problem. And although the failure of the wind turbines may be a setback for Falmouth’s commitment to renewable energy, officials haven’t given up yet.

“Obviously it was by far the town’s largest renewable energy project, but with that said there are many opportunities that we can now explore for other renewable energy projects,” said Johnson-Staub. He mentioned a focus on solar and energy-efficiency projects.

The next step for the town will be to finalize the contract with Atlantic Coast Dismantling LLC.

Source:  Asad Jung | Cape Cod Times | June 6, 2022 | www.capecodtimes.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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