Not a Wind Turbine Cost

It has been months now since I last wrote to the Enterprise. Many of us are tired or bewildered by the wind turbine controversy. It is time for those against wind power to withdraw from the battle. But since they refuse, some facts need repeating, and some corrections need to be made.

The turbines would be nicely profitable, to the benefit of the entire town, if they were run continuously as intended.

Massachusetts DEP found a slight noise exceedance at just one home, when they measured at five sites. Even that was questionable, occurring late at night and at most for 10 seconds out of six months. There have been no “violations.”

Numerous studies have been made of possible health impacts. Claims of ill effects from wind turbines are unsubstantiated by mainstream science. Fossil fuels were found by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health to be responsible for hundreds of deaths per year.

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Now that the decision has been made to continue running the wind turbines at the wastewater treatment plant, the anti-wind strategy appears be litigation, and also curtailing turbine use as much as possible then blaming the turbines for budget problems. Obviously the blame for these costs rests with the anti-wind people, and those who cooperate with them.

Falmouth is the key battleground where this is taking place.

MassCEC understands this, and announced last week that it is ready to help Falmouth.

The article “State Gives Falmouth $1.8M To Offset Cost of Turbines” had three important errors of fact that need to be corrected.

1) The title of the article creates the wrong impression. The money is not to offset turbine costs. It is to offset the lack of income created by bad decisions made by some current and former members of the board of selectmen.

2) At the board meeting of MassCEC it was clarified verbally that the $500,000 for the reserve fund will be provided in pieces, not a lump sum. MassCEC apparently recognizes a history of decision-making weakness in some selectmen who will fortunately be history after the election this May. We can hope their successors will be competent decision-makers who support generating clean renewable and sustainable energy in order to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels that pollute the air we breathe. However, were that weakness to continue and the board of selectmen continue to curtail the turbines voluntarily, the new funding would also be curtailed.

3) Near the end of the article, it states that the $1 million reserve was used for “maintenance.” Not so. Easily the majority of it was used to offset expenses resulting from voluntary curtailments voted by weak selectmen as well as involuntary ones, ordered by decision-makers ignoring facts.

From this we also learn that the coming election is extremely important. Electing the wrong selectmen will be very costly to the town in a number of ways. Electing the right selectmen will continue the small steps already taken in the right direction.

John Carlton-Foss
Church Street
Woods Hole

Comments

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  • MCool

    Yet it's so very interesting that one year ago today, Falmouth’s Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee held a joint meeting, unanimously standing by the Selectmen’s prior vote to remove the town’s wind turbines. The determination was the result of findings that the town turbines were not good neighbors. And today, the Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee stand unanimous in their NEW & REVISED position that it would be irresponsible, unsound and unbusinesslike not to fund a reserve account despite continued evidence of community nuisance law violations. Without definitive science, I'm amazed a town can re-define "being responsible and businesslike" in the course of a year. That's progressive local government in action!
  • NortheasternEE

    Mr. Carlton-Foss is trying to create the image that MassDEP monitored the wind turbine noise 24/7 for six months and found only a slight violation at night. That is not a credible image. MassDEP only sampled the noise on four occasions in the middle of the night, and determined that the turbine was out of compliance and needed to shut down for 7 PM to 7 AM, a determination that was later recognized by a Superior Court Judge. The MassDEP sampling protocol recognizes that the most likely time for a violation is in the middle of the night when the wind is strong up high making lots of power and noise, while on the ground, there is no wind and you can hear a pin drop. Finding no violations would have cleared the wind turbine for 24/7 operation. Any violation is indicative of widespread violations at night, requiring further sampling for daytime clearance. The sampling protocol used by MassDEP is well known in statistical science, and Mr. Carlton-Foss can spin it all he wants. But, the fact remains that the Falmouth wind turbines are a nuisance affecting the health and happiness of nearby residents and will sooner or later be turned off permanently.
  • Billcarson

    Where is the September 12, 2012 WTOP CBI VIDEO ? John Carlton-Foss filmed the September 12, 2012 Falmouth Wind Turbine Option Analysis Process (WTOP)meeting. The Consensus Building Institute was hired for almost $400,000.00 to negotiate a resolution to the wind turbine process. The purpose of the Falmouth Wind Turbine Option Analysis Process (WTOP) was to video tape all the twenty something meetings and show them on Falmouth Cable TV ,FCTV. The CBI had all the meetings video taped and shown on local TV for all the residents of Falmouth. What the public doesn't know is the September 12, 2012 video tape was never shown to the public. My contention is that not showing the video edits all the other videos because the public never got all the information through FCTV. According to the printed minutes of that meeting the meeting was taped by a volunteer. Here is the quote from those minutes : Filming: John Carleton-­‐Foss filmed the meeting as a volunteer for FCTV. After contacting the representatives of CBI that conducted the meetings and video they were unable to locate the video. Folks $400,000.00 was spent on these meetings and what I call the "smoking gun video" has never been shown on FCTV. The question needs to be asked who, why, what, when and where is the video and why was it never shown to the public ? Why is no one looking for the missing video ? http://www.cbuilding.org/sites/cbi.drupalconnect.com/files/WTOP_9-12-12_meetingsummary_fnl.pdf