Articles filed under General from Massachusetts
On a Thursday evening three Junes ago, Dejan Karabasevic desperately needed to contact his former wife. Karabasevic, a top engineer in American Superconductor Corp.'s offices in Klagenfurt, Austria, had been summoned to work, then confronted by police, who suspected him of selling his company's proprietary software to a Chinese wind turbine maker.
Bristol Community College has scrapped a proposed campus wind turbine project due to changing "best practices" in turbine construction and is exploring alternative uses for a $600,000 state grant it received to build the machine. ...The Energy Resources Department and BCC decided that the turbine project was "not in the best interest of the commonwealth."
Ms. Barteau said the tone of the questionnaire seems "prejudicial." She said it seems like an attempt to "sort out people" who opposed the turbines before they went up. "It seems like a process of intimidation," Ms. Barteau said. "There are fewer questions about health and more about 'were you concerned before they went up.'
Selectmen haven't agreed on the fate of two town-owned wind turbines in the wake of a failure at town meeting to get funds for their removal. But at their Monday night meeting, they agreed on one thing: They need to decide on their next move soon, and without another round of townwide debate.
Developers of the Fairhaven's two wind turbines say they can meet state noise regulations by shutting down just one turbine overnight. Three members of Fairhaven Wind LLC met with selectmen Monday night to submit a "mitigation plan" and explain what developer Sumul Shah described as the "extreme step" of shutting off one turbine per evening.
Senate President Therese Murray, D-Plymouth, has sponsored legislation that would allow Falmouth to borrow money to pay expenses related to removing the town's wind turbines at the Falmouth Wastewater Treatment Facility. Senate Bill 1802 is also sponsored by state representatives David Vieira, R-East Falmouth, and Timothy Madden, D-Nantucket.
The Scituate Wind turbine may have been hit by lightning during the severe thunderstorm on Monday night. Sumul Shah, president of Solaya, the operators of the Scituate Wind, has not been able to confirm lightning struck the turbine, but said it was a "likely scenario." Residents reported hearing a loud crack in the area of the turbine on Monday night.
Representatives for the company said the turbine would help the supermarket divert its fossil fuel use to wind power, as the company moves toward a green approach. A doctor hired by the company maintained that wind turbines do not pose a health risk, but referenced a state report that acknowledged they could adversely impact health if they caused sleep disturbances.
"People's children are having trouble sleeping and that constitutes a health risk," she said. "The overnight shutdown is to accommodate the kids." DEP spokesman Coletta said the Board of Health has the jurisdiction to enforce the state regulation however it sees fit. Town Counsel Thomas Crotty said the Board of Health has "the authority to make a judgment call on what they think may be injurious to public health."
The DEP had concerns that the proposed 275-foot wind turbine might exceed sound limit guidelines during the winter. So, the agency recommended three possible actions be taken: The applicant could withdraw its proposal without prejudice; recommend the Zoning Board of Appeals deny the requested special permit for the project; or Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC could implement mitigation measures.
Princeton Municipal Light Department manager Brian Allen has written to Governor Deval Patrick, noting that the failed wind turbine project has contributed significantly to the town's high utility costs. He is seeking financial support from the state. ...PMLD is a municipal utility with a $3 million budget and the turbine cost was approximately $1.2 million of that budget in 2012. "The utility does not have the ability to sustain itself with those types of losses."
After the turbine was constructed and officially ready to test, it saw several months of delays because of multiple problems cropping up. ...Diniak said part of the problem is that when something goes wrong, it is often a problem that can only be fixed by going up to the top of the turbine.
"Falmouth could shut the turbine down overnight because it owned them," Coletta explained. "In Fairhaven there's a third party that complicates things." Though the DEP "certainly could" order the Fairhaven turbines turned off, Coletta said "it would lead to lengthy and costly legal issues that would not resolve the problem in a timely way."
In full-page newspaper ads Thursday, the Associated Industries of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership say the state already has expensive energy, and the project's above-market power costs will make it tougher to attract business.
Now that voters refused to approve a debt exclusion to take down the town's turbines, selectmen must go back to the drawing board for a solution. "You know, I think this was our best chance at resolving this issue. That is why the board decided on this course of action," Selectman Brent V.W. Putnam said yesterday.
John Wethington has asked a Superior Court judge to throw out April's much-disputed election results and compel a new Board of Health race. [Note: The outcome of the election would impact how the community addressed noise from the Fairhaven wind turbines.]
"Clearly, very few people asked questions, and everyone was on board," Davis said. "It became clear this year to me and to other people who were sort of on the sidelines watching "» we really had a problem here, and it was tearing our community apart."
In an about face, the Independence turbine owners at Kingston Wind Independence are refusing to participate a long-awaited acoustic monitoring study.
KINGSTON - Kingston Wind Independence LLC, the owner of the Independence wind turbine, accuses local residents of making "false, baseless and inflammatory statements" in the media while also saying the company's legal department is "keeping tabs" on public statements they make to protect the company's reputation.
Falmouth was among the first towns in Massachusetts to install large turbines so close to homes. When people complained, the town tried curtailing their operation when it got real windy. Then they shut them off at night. They even considered buying out the homeowners.