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Union Beach opposes plan for 380-foot-tall wind turbine

Unlike the deluded hero Don Quixote, municipal officials in this Bayshore town think they have the clout to derail a giant windmill proposed for their town. In this case, it's a 380-foot wind turbine with 118-foot blades that, according to a plan proposed by the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority, would sit on authority property in the west end of this 1.2-square-mile town.

UNION BEACH - Unlike the deluded hero Don Quixote, municipal officials in this Bayshore town think they have the clout to derail a giant windmill proposed for their town.

In this case, it's a 380-foot wind turbine with 118-foot blades that, according to a plan proposed by the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority, would sit on authority property in the west end of this 1.2-square-mile town.

The proposed wind turbine plant would become the state's second. The Atlantic County Utilities Authority and Community Energy Inc., a private company, operate five wind turbines in Atlantic City.

The BRSA wants to build a 1.5-megawatt industrial wind turbine that carries an estimated $7.7 million price tag.

The wind turbine would sit on a 240-foot high pedestal constructed on a concrete pad over 24 pilings adjacent to Raritan Bay and include three 118-foot blades attached to a 380-foot tower. It could generate 1.5 megawatts of electricity per hour.

But following a BRSA presentation to the council on Aug. 20 meeting, members passed a resolution by a 6-0 vote to tell the state Department of Environmental Protection they oppose the tower.

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UNION BEACH - Unlike the deluded hero Don Quixote, municipal officials in this Bayshore town think they have the clout to derail a giant windmill proposed for their town.

In this case, it's a 380-foot wind turbine with 118-foot blades that, according to a plan proposed by the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority, would sit on authority property in the west end of this 1.2-square-mile town.

The proposed wind turbine plant would become the state's second. The Atlantic County Utilities Authority and Community Energy Inc., a private company, operate five wind turbines in Atlantic City.

The BRSA wants to build a 1.5-megawatt industrial wind turbine that carries an estimated $7.7 million price tag.

The wind turbine would sit on a 240-foot high pedestal constructed on a concrete pad over 24 pilings adjacent to Raritan Bay and include three 118-foot blades attached to a 380-foot tower. It could generate 1.5 megawatts of electricity per hour.

But following a BRSA presentation to the council on Aug. 20 meeting, members passed a resolution by a 6-0 vote to tell the state Department of Environmental Protection they oppose the tower.

The borough's DEP appeal could affect whether the BRSA gets full funding for the project, borough Councilman Michael Harriott said.

Harriott said the council is concerned about potential noise and the possible impact on residential property values.

Harriott said he voted "no" after the BRSA could not offer a guarantee that all Union Beach residents' quality of life would remain unaffected.

"If anybody's house is going to be involved in this, I am not in favor of it," Harriott said.
Harriott cited a potential "shadow flicker" effect by the turbine blades on 25 homes adjacent to the tower. For two weeks during the winter, the sun's position in the sky behind the blades could create that effect for a short period each day, he said.

"I asked them, "Is there a place where you can relocate it somewhere else where it won't affect those 25 houses?' and they said "No,' " Harriott said. "If that's the case, you don't get it."

BRSA officials they said would consider turning the turbine off during the flicker periods.
Harriott said Union Beach also doesn't have the fire equipment to battle a fire if it were to start on the 240 foot tower top.

BRSA Executive Director Robert C. Fischer says a turbine tower would save electricity and later reduce residents' sewer rates.

"Energy is the one of the highest line-item costs that we have," Fischer said. "Last year alone we spent over a $1 million on electricity."

"As a result of this project, we should be able to begin to reduce sewer rates - not reducing the increase in rates, but the actual rates," Fischer said.

The turbine would be funded through the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust, which would provide a grant to cover 50 percent of the project, Fischer said.

To obtain a $3.8 million grant from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the wind turbine must be constructed by next February.


Source: http://www.app.com/article/...

AUG 26 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/21914-union-beach-opposes-plan-for-380-foot-tall-wind-turbine
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