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Falmouth Options Process Outcome Goes to Selectmen

January 17, 2013

The long-anticipated meeting when the Falmouth Wind Turbine Options Process (WTOP) group presents its recommendations to selectmen is now scheduled for Friday January 18, 2013.

Reporting in the Falmouth Enterprise (“Turbine Group Recalculating Financial Projections Of Proposed Options ” 1/15/13) Brent Runyon explained what the WTOP group will present.

The report will give selectmen three options for handling problems with the two town-owned wind turbines at the Falmouth Wastewater Treatment plant: run the turbines as much as possible and compensate homeowners in the area; curtail the operations of the wind turbines; or remove the turbines and possibly install photovoltaic solar panels to produce renewable energy for the town.

The presentation was delayed while the group reviewed the production calculations and their projected financial implications. Before that meeting one member, Judith Fenwick, signaled concern about action taken by the selectmen to freeze zoning around .existing turbines to avoid effects of a proposed turbine bylaw.

But if selectmen are only interested in protecting the investment in the wind turbines, Ms. Fenwick said, “it calls into question why have we been meeting all this time.”

The delay in meeting with selectmen could have resulted in “Time Running Out For Decision On Turbines If Town Meeting Vote Is Required” according to Christopher Kazarian, writing in the same issue of the Enterprise. The selectmen noted at their Monday meeting that the warrant for the Annual Town Meeting closes on Monday, January 28.

The board had a brief discussion on whether to allow public comments at that first session. [Selectman Douglas H.] Jones, who has served as the board’s liaison to the Wind Turbine Options Process group, said the intention was to not allow comments. “It is a conversation between the group and the board, as a group,” Mr. Jones said.

Selectmen agreed to a meeting on Thursday, January 24, at town hall to take comments from the public.

In another piece in the same issue, Runyon tallied up the price tag for the WTOP. According to “State Paid For Turbine Options Process,”

Falmouth Wind Turbine Options Process’s report to the Falmouth Board of Selectmen this week cost the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center $388,000 to produce.

The MassCEC may also be funding sound testing to be included in the final version of the report.


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