Library from Massachusetts
Dan Alves calls the shadows thrown by the rotating blades a "nightmare" he deals with about 16 weeks a year when the sun sets behind the turbine. "It's an invasion of my property," he said from the deck outside his back door. Alves said he particularly worries about his son, a ninth-grader who was diagnosed with epilepsy as a young child. ...At the request of town officials, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center recently agreed to examine the issue.
The Falmouth Board of Selectmen and the Falmouth Finance Committee held a joint April 4 meeting and unanimously stood by the selectmen's prior vote to remove the town's wind turbines, despite receiving none of their requested financial assistance from the state to do so. The latest estimate is that it will cost the town about $14 million to remove both Wind 1 and Wind 2.
Two firms - one chosen by the board of health and another chosen and paid for by the neighbors of the turbine - will be conducting sound analysis on the turbine.
FALMOUTH – The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) asked its board of directors to authorize the board chairman to appoint a three-person subcommittee that will review and potentially modify the existing renewable energy certificate (REC) purchase agreement with the town of Falmouth. However, the MassCEC staff memorandum that makes this request also states that Falmouth will not receive a contract waiver if Wind 1 is decommissioned and removed.
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) issued a staff memorandum regarding how to address noise complaints arising from the town-owned wind turbines sited at the Falmouth water treatment center. The details of the memo are provided in this post.
State energy officials, with their goal of expanding wind energy in Massachusetts, are watching all of this closely, but have been careful to not step in to the Falmouth fray. Alicia Barton, head of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, a quasi-public agency, would not say whether there were mistakes made in Falmouth, but she did say there were some lessons.
These notes from the Mass Clean Energy Center (CEC) Board of Directors meeting indicate that the CEC will be moving forward on a plan to forgive the Town of Falmouth for renewable energy credits that are not generated by the town's Wind-1 turbine in the event the voters implement mitigation measures to relieve the noise impacts. The MassCEC waiver shall not be available for a Town action involving decommissioning and/or removal of the Wind 1 turbine.
Attorney David Paliotti, representing Algonquin Heights, refuted the Stop & Shop engineer's claims, saying the proposed wind turbine will exceed the sound limit guidelines. He also questioned the company's shadow-flicker study and the applicant's research on the visibility of the turbine. ...The Stop & Shop turbine would be located approximately 600 feet from the Algonquin Heights apartment complex and 962 feet from the nearest home on Westerly Road.
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center has agreed to commission a shadow flicker study of Kingston's wind turbines. Massachusetts Clean Energy Center spokesman Catherine Williams confirmed there will be a study.
The neighbors, who say the turbine is hurting their health, announced earlier this week they would hire an acoustical engineer to test the noise levels of the turbine. They want their study to be performed on the same nights as the study conducted by Tech Environmental, the firm picked by the health board to study the turbine.
"We are not sleeping. We are suffering the adverse effects of shadow flicker. One of the members of the board of health at the October meeting brought forth the issue that we suspend the operation of the industrial wind turbine during night time hours, until we can complete the study. ...we're imploring the town to suspend the operation," Kelly said.
Falmouth selectmen gave an update March 25 on the town's plans to dismantle the town's two turbines located at the Falmouth Wastewater Treatment Facility, known as Wind 1 and Wind 2 - and whether the state will help fund their removal.
A second study of the effects of the Scituate Wind turbine has been planned. ...the Community Group decided to conduct its own study “given the inadequate scope of the study supported by the board of health.”
Wethington said the race was less about the turbines and more about the unresponsiveness of DeTerra toward the residents who claim the turbines have had an adverse effect on their health. "I want to take the board in a new direction so that people with problems can come to the Board of Health without being fearful that they will not be heard," he said.
The argument over whether the turbine is causing health effects has been underway since early 2012, when the turbine was turned on and residents first started complaining of health problems. Yet with Town Meeting likely to consider a petition to bring the turbine down, both sides have grown more adamant in their opinions.
Two engineering firms have expressed interest in conducting a sound study that will determine whether Scituate's wind turbine is too loud by state standards.
An education and advocacy session for the greater Scituate MA community, was held on Saturday, March 23, 2013, hosted by the neighbors affected by the Scituate Industrial Wind Turbine.
"What I wrote was a dumb statement but it wasn't a threat," he said in an interview with The Standard-Times last week. "He wanted to keep me quiet about the turbines and is painting a picture of me as some kind of crazy person." Selectman Bob Espindola said Monday neither he nor fellow board member Charlie Murphy had been aware of Bowcock's letter until Ferreira complained to him in September.
The turbine backlash has prompted some local communities to proceed more cautiously when considering wind turbine projects. In recent years, turbine proposals have been tossed around in Plymouth, Weymouth, Quincy, Milton, Marshfield, Norwell and Cohasset. Some of these plans have been met with resistance or been ruled out altogether.
This much is clear: many people who live near these towers believe that the structures are adversely affecting their health. Local officials do not need Falmouth's experiences to understand that there is virtually nothing that will placate people when they believe that their health, and their property values, are suffering. Better to clear the air ahead of time before trying to harness the wind.