PLYMOUTH — One of the four Future Generation Wind turbines on the Mann cranberry bog has begun to spin as a part of testing. The turbines off Head of the Bay Road, which are owned by ConEdison Solutions, have no set date to become fully operational, spokeswoman Christine Nevin said.
The turbine near Route 25 that has been spinning started to turn last Thursday, said Cayce Sands, a resident of Buzzards Bay’s Hideaway Village and a member of the citizen action committee that brought a lawsuit against Future Generation Wind, as well as town officials.
The Board of Selectmen announced in January they would bring a lawsuit against Future Generation Wind, saying that even though the turbines were all located in Plymouth, they were on a property that crosses into Bourne and would affect Bourne residents, subjecting them to the town’s bylaws and Board of Health regulations.
The citizens group questioned the town’s dedication to fighting Future Generation Wind and filed an injunction against several town officials. That injunction, along with the injunction against the turbines, was denied by a Barnstable County Superior Court judge. A motion to dismiss the charges is scheduled for Aug. 4.
All counts in the town’s lawsuit against the turbines were dismissed on June 15, with the judge writing that Bourne’s bylaws have no jurisdiction in Plymouth. But the door was left open for future recourse.
Bourne’s “complaint relies on the structures of the local bylaw. The bylaw does not apply to the construction of wind turbines in the adjunct Town of Plymouth,” the decision read. “The dismissal of this action should not be read as a bar to any future action by the plaintiff under its broad powers to regulate and prevent nuisances that affect the public health of the inhabitants of Bourne.”
Even though the injunctions have been denied, the citizens group is not giving up, said Ian Davies, a member of the group.
They have been meeting and recruiting new members, as well as seeking out people’s help. They recently enlisted the help of Plymouth attorney Lawrence McGrath and are considering filing a lawsuit against the town of Plymouth.
They have contacted state Sen. Viriato "Vinny" deMacedo, R-Plymouth, and hope to meet with him soon, Davies said.
“We want the senator to see our situation,” Davies said.
Seeing the process of towering 328-foot-tall turbines (492 feet to the tip of the blade) being erected behind her home on Morning Mist Lane since October has been a learning process, Karen Gibides said.
“Part of it was exciting,” Gibides said. “It was quite an endeavor.” But she worries about what the turbines could mean for her family and her property. She tried to put her home on the market before they were built, but her realtor recommended a listing price about 20 percent less than the assessed value, she said. The possible health risks, which originally concerned the Bourne Board of Health and prompted them to ask Future Generation Wind to apply for a variance, also concern Gibides.
“We are not really going to invest in the house if he can’t tolerate it,” Gibides said of her son, who is an adult with autism. She planned to put an addition on her home so he could have more privacy. For now it is a waiting game until the turbines become fully operational. “We feel our lives are on hold.”