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Bourne Faces Impacts from Plymouth’s Wind Turbine Project

September 29, 2015

Update: On Wednesday 9/30/15 Bourne selectmen voted 3 to 2 to grant a license for the 4 turbines to pass through Bourne on their way to Plymouth. Next Generation Wind must post a $1 million bond against potential damage to roadways. “Because of the size of the components, the project requires a convoy-style delivery of about 30 oversized trucks carrying parts as large as 170 feet long and more than 15 feet wide,” according to reporter Carrie Gentile (Bourne selectmen approve route for turbines traveling from New BedfordSouth Coast Today). Selectmen can revoke the license at any time if warranted, she reported. Protesters at the meeting drew attention to potential noise impacts to Bourne residents when the Plymouth turbines begin operation. Video of the meeting is available on Bourne Community Television.


 

At the least, early morning commuters could face traffic snarls from the caravans carrying turbine parts that will snake along local roads. More lingering would be injuries to historic trees as trucks move their cumbersome freight down the historic highway. Most far-reaching, though, would be the health effects of turbine operation.

These problems are under consideration by Bourne Selectmen and the Board of Health.

Ethan Genter, reporting in the Cape Cod Times, wrote  in “Bourne officials grapple with Plymouth turbine project” 9/25/15:

The Future Generation Wind project will be fully constructed in Plymouth, but because of the size of its parts, they’ll be unable to be transported on highways…. The project would require about 24 oversized trucks to carry parts as large as 170 feet long, over 15 feet wide and almost 16 feet tall. Potential routes include Main Street and Head of the Bay Road.

About 80 feet of guardrail on Head of the Bay Road would need to be removed….

Paul Gately also covered the issue in “Delivering wind turbine parts through Bourne is complicated” in WickedLocal CapeCod (9/24/15), reporting that among other concerns was damage to roadways, bridge infrastructure, and the expense of any unanticipated costs. The selectmen said they would decide on Wednesday September 30.

The 7:00 pm meeting is held at the Veteran’s Memorial Community Center in Buzzard’s Bay. The public may comment on  transportation of machinery and equipment and impacts of this transportation on public property and roadways, with Bourne residents having first priority to address the Board of Selectmen.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 4, 2015 7:23 am

    Comments before Bourne BoS. – Here are some facts about the wind project:
    • Located in Plymouth 800 to 900 feet from Bourne border
    • Nearest residence 1,300 to 1,400 feet on Morning Mist Lane
    • MassDep has collected wind turbine sound samples in excess of 50 dBA at comparable distances in Falmouth, Fairhaven, and Kingston.
    • The Bourne BOH put in a huge effort to develop the wind turbine by-law.
    • 50 dBA is 10 dBA higher than the BOH nighttime limit of 40 dBA.
    • A 10 dBA increase in sound is perceived as double the sound by most people.
    • The only way to reduce wind turbine sound is to increase the distance. The rule of thumb is if you double the distance you reduce the sound level by 6 dBA. This will bring the sound level to about 44 dbA. Still higher than the BOH limit of 40 dBA.
    • Selectman Blanton, who previously served on the Cape Cod Commission, knows that, that body put forth a great effort to develop wind turbine regulations, and concluded that a setback of 10 rotor diameters is needed. For this size turbines, that is about 3,000 feet, close to what the BOH would be asking if they could.
    • A 3,000 foot setback extends the area subject to noise nuisance to include all of Morning Mist Lane, the section from 650 Head of the Bay road to about 850, and all side roads including all of the Hideaway village community.
    • Perhaps the Selectmen can demand moving the turbine to avoid the nuisance this project will bring to many Bourne residents. I do not understand why Con Edison Solutions is pursuing this path, which is bound to result in widespread complaints, that will eventually lead to legal action, either by the town or the residents, that will curtail turbine operations destroying much or all of the profit.
    • It does not look like there will be any winners from this project. Just losers.

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