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Union Beach wind turbine plan gets DEP approval

The Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority has been given the OK by the state Department of Environmental Protection to go out to bid for construction of a 380-foot-tall, energy-producing wind turbine, officials said. ...The project price tag is estimated around $7.7 million. ...Union Beach officials have opposed the project, and they sent a formal objection in writing to the DEP in September.

The Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority has been given the OK by the state Department of Environmental Protection to go out to bid for construction of a 380-foot-tall, energy-producing wind turbine, officials said.

"We have DEP authorization to advertise," said Robert C. Fischer, executive director of the authority. "We'll be receiving bids on Dec. 8, and we're looking to award (a contract) by Dec. 21."

The project price tag is estimated around $7.7 million.

The wind turbine would be built at the west end of the 1.2-square-mile borough and could generate 1.5 megawatts of electricity per hour. It would be perched on a pedestal constructed on a concrete pad over 24 pilings adjacent to Raritan Bay, and would include three 118-foot blades attached to a 260-foot tower for a total height of approximately 380 feet.

The project must satisfy several DEP regulations before actual construction can start, state officials said.

There are a few more administrative steps to complete before the authority can start pouring the concrete. The agency first must formally adopt a set of guidelines and regulations, proposed in September, for wind turbines, DEP spokeswoman Karen Hershey said.

Also, citizens may... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority has been given the OK by the state Department of Environmental Protection to go out to bid for construction of a 380-foot-tall, energy-producing wind turbine, officials said.

"We have DEP authorization to advertise," said Robert C. Fischer, executive director of the authority. "We'll be receiving bids on Dec. 8, and we're looking to award (a contract) by Dec. 21."

The project price tag is estimated around $7.7 million.

The wind turbine would be built at the west end of the 1.2-square-mile borough and could generate 1.5 megawatts of electricity per hour. It would be perched on a pedestal constructed on a concrete pad over 24 pilings adjacent to Raritan Bay, and would include three 118-foot blades attached to a 260-foot tower for a total height of approximately 380 feet.

The project must satisfy several DEP regulations before actual construction can start, state officials said.

There are a few more administrative steps to complete before the authority can start pouring the concrete. The agency first must formally adopt a set of guidelines and regulations, proposed in September, for wind turbines, DEP spokeswoman Karen Hershey said.

Also, citizens may file an administrative appeal opposing the permit and request a hearing within 30 days after the DEP publishes its permit decision in the DEP Bulletin. The DEP also has a time period in which to accept and reply to any public comments about the permit.

"It could take a number of months for the DEP to read and respond to the comments and make any changes they make in the adoption docket," Hershey said.

Union Beach officials have opposed the project, and they sent a formal objection in writing to the DEP in September.

Mayor Paul J. Smith Jr. said the borough has "some concerns" about the turbine project, but said the council is "willing to meet with them and talk about it."

The authority is scheduling two open meetings in coming weeks for public comment from borough residents first, and then any county resident.

The first meeting is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 14, for Union Beach residents only.

A second meeting, open to all Monmouth County residents, will be held in December. The date has not been set, Fischer said.

"We've also spoken to the town, and we are going to be forming subcommittees to periodically go over the status of the project over any community concerns that have arisen," Fischer added.

Fischer said Union Beach residents also would be charged lower customer rates through a "host community benefit fee" for having the turbine tower constructed in its back yard.

Union Beach officials had publicly criticized the turbine project during the summer and wrote a letter of protest to the DEP in September. Officials' main objection concerned the potential "flicker effect" - a light flicker the turbine blades could produce over some residents' houses during a short period in winter and summer.

Authority officials at the time suggested that the turbine could be shut off during those periods, if a flicker effect is produced.


Source: http://www.app.com/apps/pbc...

NOV 1 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/22934-union-beach-wind-turbine-plan-gets-dep-approval
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