Falmouth Wind Turbine News
Falmouth Select Board Seeking Bids To Move Two Town-owned Turbines Beyond Falmouth’s Borders
Apr 2, 2020 10:27 am ET
Former Governor Deval Patrick (D) Massachusetts a wind turbine advocate set an ambitious goal: He declared that by 2020 the state should develop enough wind-generated electricity to generate 2000 megawatts of power. Patrick said that wind power should come from turbines located on Massachusetts land what is now a fatal flaw.
In 2010, the population density of Massachusetts stood at over 800 residents per square mile of land area. Cape Cod towns are far too dense for commercial wind turbines.
The Town of Falmouth installed its first of two Vestas V-82 type 1.65 megawatt wind turbines in 2010 and 2012 with no special permits as required by town zoning laws.
Vestas wind company warned prior to installations the turbines generate 110 decibels of noise each. The distance to meet a 40-decibel setback for just one of these type turbines to residential homes is around 3000 feet.
The Town of Falmouth has no wind turbine noise study for both 110-decibel wind turbines operating at the same time. Up to eleven litigation cases in various Massachusetts courts drained tax revenues.Subscribe
The Cape Cod Commission approved a revised set of regulations in 2016 that a megawatt wind turbine such as one Falmouth turbine must include a noise study and be set back 10 times the diameter of the rotor from structures again around 3000 feet.
By June 20th, 2017 several Massachusetts Superior Court Justices have shut down both municipal wind turbines owned by Falmouth as they are a nuisance.
In November 2019 Falmouth Town Meeting at the request of the Falmouth Select Board approved 2.5 million to disassemble the turbines and put them in storage.
Both Vestas turbines with an installation cost of just under ten million are gear-driven designed in the late 1990s with the original blades and gearboxes.
The town hopes to move the turbines out of town but also owes the remainder of an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act loan on Falmouth Wind Turbine number two. The remaining balance is 3.5 million plus 2 percent interest.
A question remains if the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds from 2009 should never have been loaned to the Town of Falmouth. The 110-decibel noise danger was known prior to construction the turbines emit excessive noise each affecting up to 200 residential homes.
Following are some of the impact studies which may be required to move a turbine to a new location:
- Wildlife, avian, endangered species
- Visual impacts
- Sound impacts
- Transportation and safety
Falmouth public relations: Any move considered by the town to a new location should involve the neighbors and the public from the very beginning.
Studies have shown that such involvement including special permits and zoning regulations, for exact turbine type and locations usually leads to more acceptance.
Allow plenty of time for public input and comment. One Vestas V-82 type 1.65 Megawatt wind turbine needs a 3000-foot setback from residential property.
State of the Town: Falmouth Wind Turbine Update February, 2018
•Feb 9, 2018
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