Peru Restricts Wind to Backyard Scale
Peru’s town meeting on June 7th approved bylaw changes that limit the size, scale and location of wind turbines. Instead of the five industrial scale turbines Lightship Energy proposed for the ridge above Garnet Lake, voters limited wind conversion mainly to on-site use. The wind energy bylaw amendment passed by the needed two-thirds, 105-52. Writing for the Berkshire Eagle in advance of the meeting, Phil Demers reported (6/6/14):
Members of Peru Concerned Citizens propose changing the town’s wind energy bylaw to state, “wind energy conversion systems shall be primarily for on-site distribution use: Up to 50 percent of the energy generated may be sold or used off-site.”
The measure would effectively bar any large-scale wind developer from pursuing a project in the town, while allowing residents freedom to pursue small conversion systems at their homes.
It was a contentious meeting as Demers saw it, reporting in “Peru Town Meeting bars development of industrial wind turbines” (6/9/14). Among financial arguments for and against the project, Scott Seely pointed out that “All this large-scale wind is possible because of public subsidy, out of our pockets.”
Town elections are held on June 14 2014, with Concerned Citizens of Peru running eight candidates for town office. According to the Berkshire Eagle, “A slate of candidates for town office are running on a “change” ticket in the wake of accusations of government secrecy and three Open Meeting Law violations against the Select Board.”
Among the contenders are Bonnie DiTomasso and Kevin Cahill, seeking seats on the Select Board. Other candidates are Joseph Kaminiski for moderator, Kimberly Wetherell and John DiTomasso for Finance Committee, Candice Calahan for Town Clerk, and Scott Seely for Planning Board.
“There has to be open communication in Peru,” (Bonnie) DiTomasso said. “It’s all about accessibility to Town Hall. I would encourage everybody to participate.”