More Turbine Projects Rejected
One turbine project after another is folding under the pressure of local opposition and economic realities. View a chart of “dead turbines.”
On March 31, 2012 Nantucket joined the ranks of communities to reject a wind turbine project when the town meeting voted 62% to 38% against the turbine. Jason Graziadei was reporting on the meeting for the Inquirer and Mirror. In an earlier article he reported, “FinCom recommends against turbine.” Residents heeded their recommendation and rejected the Madaket Wind Turbine Warrant Article.
The high school in Plymouth will be LEED rated–it will just have solar panels instead of a monster wind turbine, according to Rich Harbert’s report in Wicked Local Plymouth. Superintendent Gary Maestas said that “the new school will open in the fall with a gold rating, instead, and will still be one of the most environmentally progressive structures in the state or country.”
Dennis will not see a turbine built at the Aquaculture Research Corporation (ARC), according to Cynthia McCormick, reporting in Cape Cod Online. The major regional shellfish hatchery dropped its suit against the Old King’s Highway Historic District Committee. Dennis resident Rosemarie Austin appealed the positive ruling of the local historic district committee, prompting the regional committee to overturn the ruling. Austin is President of Save Our Beaches, and had objected to the town of Dennis supporting ARC’s side in the court case. “‘Wind turbines shouldn’t be put in neighborhoods,’ Austin said… ‘Industrial turbines should go in industrial areas.'”
Earlier reductions in the industrial wind turbine proposal roster include Quincy (Moon Island), Bournedale, Northborough, and Swampscott.
Quincy halted a project on February 23, 2012, according to Lane Lambert writing in the Patriot Ledger, when Mayor Thomas Koch asked Boston Mayor Thomas Mennino to withdraw the proposal for the Moon Island turbine on a Boston-owned island within the city limits of Quincy. According to Lambert, “Engineers said Moon Island was an ideal site for a turbine, and they noted that it would be almost a mile from the nearest Squantum homes. But more than 100 Quincy residents packed a Feb. 8 planning board hearing, objecting to construction truck traffic and the turbine’s possible impact on property values and health.”
A four-turbine wind project proposed for Bournedale was denied when the Cape Cod Commission voted on February 16, 2012. Heather Wysocki reported in Cape Cod Online on that “the board voted 8-4 that there were more detriments than benefits” to the New Generation Wind project. “The journey to Thursday’s vote was a two-year process that included dozens of public meetings and heated testimony from proponents and opponents.”
Northborough heard the Sustainable Energy Developments report presentation on January 10, 2012. “Citing a large up-front cost and a longer-than-expected payback period,” Kris Johnson reported in the MetroWest Daily News, “the Wind Turbine Committee members reluctantly accepted that the project cannot move forward.” Donna Boynton, writing in the Worcester Telegram, said the meeting heard that the “wind turbines were estimated to cost between $2.2 million and $7.3 million to build, depending on the size of the turbine, and the payback period for a wind turbine ranged from nine to 15 years, respectively — more than twice as long as the committee had hoped.”
In Swampscott, according to Neil Zolot‘s Wicked Local article of January 6, 2012, ‘“The primary reason was the finances,” explained Department of Public Works Assistant Engineer and Renewable Energy Committee member Victoria Masone. “The Wind Turbine Generator Feasibility Study showed a 16 year payback period. That’s way too long.”’ Lack of grant funding for the $3 million project and a turnout of “panicked citizens” at a September Renewable Energy Committee meeting were probably also deciding factors.