Rulings On Turbines Concern Energy Board
By: James Kinsella
The town’s Renewable Energy Commission is expressing concern about recent regulatory decisions and newly proposed rules that would limit renewable energy installations, especially of wind turbines.
The commission wants to hold a joint meeting with the town’s Old King’s Highway Historic District Committee to discuss the issue.
At its meeting Monday, the commission decided to resend the district committee an invitation to meet.
The committee had not received the prior invitation, according to Mary Lou Fair, the staff member who works with the historic committee.
But no such meeting is likely in the near future, given that the historic committee is reviewing a solar energy installation proposal remanded to the committee by the Old King’s Highway Regional Historic District Commission, according to town district committee chairman George Jessop.
Mr. Jessop declined to discuss the idea of a possible joint meeting, citing the Open Meetings Law exemption concerning pending litigation.
Beyond any eventual get-together with the historic district committee, the energy commission voiced concern about recent regulatory decisions that have gone against renewable energy regulations at the town and regional historic district level.
Commission members also expressed concern about proposed Cape Cod Commission rules that would make any turbine 65 feet or more in height a Development of Regional Impact, as well as requiring a setback of 2,000 feet from any residential property line.
The town’s energy coordinator, Richard Elrick, who works as a liaison to the committee, questioned whether the proposed Cape commission rules would allow any wind turbine from being built anywhere on Cape Cod.
Mr. Elrick also said the proposed rules, had they been in effect, would have prohibited the town from erecting the two wind turbines at the town’s sewer plant.
Those turbines are scheduled to go into operation this spring.
On the historic protection issue, energy commission members suggested that some parts of the town’s Old King’s Highway district, such as subdivisions near the Mid-Cape Highway, were less historic than other areas closer to Route 6A.
To that end, they said, perhaps less restrictive rules could be applied to renewable energy installations closer to the Mid-Cape Highway.
But Town Councilor Ann B. Canedy of Cummaquid, who represents constituents in part of the historic district, told the commission the voters previously approved those boundaries for the district.
As for whether general guidelines could be drawn up allowing fewer restrictions in parts of the district, Ms. Canedy said the historic district committee makes its rulings on a case-by-case basis.
Leave a Reply
In order to comment you need to be logged in.