Falmouth Massachusetts Prepares For New Wind Turbine Disaster

UP TO 1.6 Gigawatts of Power To Be Buried In Neighborhoods: 1600 Megawatts 

Falmouth Massachusetts Prepares For New Wind Turbine Disaster

Gov Baker testified to Congress in 2019 about town disaster

October 17, 2020 


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Future Proposed Ocean Electric Cable Routes -Falmouth Colored Blue

Wind turbine contractors are proposing the landing of an up to 1200 megawatt ocean wind turbine export cable or cables route at Falmouth Heights and Surf Drive. The route is from there nine miles north to a brand new power substation off Blacksmith Shop road and then in the air to the Grid in the Town of Bourne.

Generally, contractors when dealing with public officials always ask for two to three times what they want and later agree to half or one-third of the project that makes the public officials look like they are doing their job. Keep in mind a 400-megawatt cable still is almost the output of a small nuclear reactor.

The Falmouth Select Board met with ocean wind turbine contractors in March of 2020 and discussed the landing of up to three export cables from the proposed 1200 megawatt ocean wind turbine project.

In July at two meetings with the Falmouth Energy Committee, minutes show the town manager met with energy members to initiate a letter-writing campaign to the Select Board to request the same amount of money the Town of Barnstable got from wind turbine contractors twenty-two million dollars. The incentives are for allowing the electric cable route through town.

This isn’t the first time the town took incentives for wind turbines.

The current administration has forgotten that the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center paid the town one million in advanced renewable energy credits to take the first town-owned wind turbine that could not be sold at auction by the state agency. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection then brokered a five million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act loan on the second town-owned wind turbine. (They still owe a balance of 3 million)

The result after eleven lawsuits and multiple appeals to the lawsuits is the town lost twenty million dollars on the land-based wind turbine disaster and it is still ongoing. Falmouth Town Meeting in November of 2019 voted 2.5 million to remove the abandoned turbines which remain standing in violation of local zoning regulations.

January 2019 the Select Board directed the town attorney and manager to prepare three requests for proposals, RFPs to get rid of turbines shut down by the courts in 2015 and 2017. There are no RFPs and the turbines remain abandoned and rusting in place. The town wind turbine disaster continues until further notice.

The Falmouth Conservation Commission met with ocean wind turbine contractors on September 16, 2020, in a public meeting viewed by the public. The request was for drilling at Falmouth Heights and Surf Drive. The ocean wind contractor came prepared with a full presentation but what happened next can only be described as bizarre. The conservation board waived the presentation which denied the public a view of the presentation and unanimously approved the request without the presentation. Residents who have gone in front of the board to install a shed at least made presentations.

The two town-owned wind turbines were commissioned by ommissions. Does this sound familiar? The town had noise warning letters, emails, and a noise study that were omitted from the public, and no special permits were filed.

By October 5, the current Falmouth Select Board following in the footsteps of prior town Select Boards prepared to vote to allow ocean wind turbine contractors onto town property at Blacksmith Shop Road, Surf Drive, and Falmouth Heights. The public has still not seen a presentation or even a pamphlet unless you ask for it.

Falmouth residents have raised health and safety questions over the installation of megawatt electric cables through residential locations. It appears that although ocean wind turbine contractors met with the select board in March of 2020 in which case 6 months later the paperwork never got to the Falmouth Town Attorney and no vote was taken?

After the town installed the two town-owned in turbines in 2010 and 2012 anyone who wanted information on the turbines had to file FOIA, Freedom of Information Act Requests. After multiple court actions, the town placed the information on the town website. Why not a town website location for the correspondence with ocean wind contactors?

The public in general has no idea of the amount of correspondence between ocean wind turbine contractors and the Select Board, Commissions, and Boards. Residents around the town-owned wind turbines at the Wastewater Treatment Plant found out when construction started.

The problem with high voltage cables whether buried or in the air is the Electromagnetic Fields around the cables. There are studies that say they are safe as long as they don’t exceed a certain measurement and newer studies that say they cause cancer in children. This leaves everyone to Cherry-pick which study they want but who would buy a house in a neighborhood with a 400 plus megawatt cable buried outside your front door?

As far as ultra high voltage lines and substations go the World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged the findings of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), which concludes acute exposure to static EMF above 400 microTesla (mT) can be harmful to humans.

Looking back at the Falmouth town-owned wind turbines there were state and town officials who ignored the warnings of infrasound. The US Department of Energy had concluded the wind turbine at Boone, North Carolina in 1979 was generating infrasound causing an ill feeling in local residents.

Massachusetts has twenty-one communities with poorly placed commercial wind turbines in addition to Falmouth.

Falmouth residents around the Wastewater Treatment Plant were told the two types of wind turbine noise could be “mitigated”

How do you mitigate up to a 345,000-volt electric cable with 800 megawatts of power in front of your house?

The Select Board, (Megan E. English Braga, Chair), (Douglas C. Brown, Vice-Chair),(Douglas H. Jones), (Samuel H. Patterson),and (Nancy R. Taylor) is the chief executive and policy-making body of the Town of Falmouth.

The Falmouth Select Boards’s formal, legal responsibilities are found throughout hundreds of Massachusetts state statutes as well as the town’s zoning bylaws, home rule charter, and special laws (special acts) and special permits such as 240-166 wind energy enacted by the Legislature for that particular town. The board has general supervision over all matters that are not specifically delegated by law, or by a vote of the town meeting members.

The Select Board needs to appoint a committee to look into how to mitigate offshore electric cables through residential neighborhoods.

The board should be asking why not run the cables to the Canal Power Plant, New Bedford of Fall River.

Why do Falmouth homeowners have to sacrifice their homes to save a few bucks for ocean wind turbine contractors?

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