At this point in time I should just keep my mouth shut and be happy about the selectmen’s vote to put an end to the Town of Falmouth’s misadvised venture into wind power. It is Richard K. Latimer’s letter in today’s Enterprise that elicits a response from me.

It amazes me that so many Falmouth residents have learned so little about the detrimental effects of a too-close, too-large wind turbine on a human being. Also that size matters. It’s very likely that the originally proposed 600kW single turbine for the WWTP would have worked out just fine. It was the shoehorning in of a 1.65MW machine (Wind I) plus adding a second 1.65MW (Wind II) for a total of 3.3MWatt vs. 600kW or a 5.5 increase in generation capacity that killed Falmouth’s chance to have a successful wind project. Failing due diligence (greed often gives a cloudy lens) to study recommended setback distances, which I expect was the reason to forgo the required permits, this advocated by the state MTA, now the CEC.

I totally agree with Marc Finneran that this town should refuse to pay off the $3.5 million grant/loan, whatever the state calls it. Town Manager Mr. Suso’s description of the State Water Management Trust’s position regarding this $3.5 million sounds absurd. It was the state MTA/CEC that enticed Falmouth into this wind turbine ordeal. I think the town should sue for damages. I believe Heather Harper as assistant and then acting town manager had all best intentions for our town. The financial numbers appeared terrific. The used turbines being pushed by the CEC, hurry up and take them before someone else does, caused the lack of in-depth study by our town. This was yet another dropping of the ball by Falmouth Town Meeting, which droppings have been fairly frequent on major issues.

Barry A. Funfar, Ridgeview Drive, Falmouth

(2) comments

blowin smoke

Mr. Funfar cites a “lack of in-depth study by our town”. Like many of Falmouth’s wind turbine myths, this sounds plausible, but has no factual basis. The 2005 feasibility study is still on the town’s www page. It recommends building exactly what Falmouth did build years later, after seven Town Meeting approvals.

“KEMA recommends locating the wind turbine at the current site of the MET tower. The physical characteristics of this location and surrounding areas (e.g., existing cleared and accessible space with fencing around site) make it suitable for the safe construction and operation of a 1.5 MW to 2.5 MW turbine with a hub height of 65 to 100 meters”
In other towns, identical (or larger) turbines spin 24x7 without controversy, despite being located closer to homes than Falmouth’s are.
In 2015, Falmouth’s Board of Health sent this letter to selectmen, citing mainstream public health research which has found wind turbines (and huge wind farms) to be harmless.


Falmouth Made Too Many So Called "Mistakes"

1. One GE wind turbine would break state noise regulations- mistake failed to look at the KEMA map.

2. Special Permit 240-166 required to build turbines- mistake failed to file a permit.

3. Filed EPA permit for 5 million stimulus funds- mistake forgot to tell federal officials domestic wind company GE refused to build megawatt turbine.

4. Told Town Meeting Members at Special Town Meeting June 2009 ARRA money was free cash- a mistake it was a loan

5. Vestas 2010 letter & emails turbine twice as loud as GE domestic turbine -mistake town continues to hide the letter & emails.

6. April 2013 memo from Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Board of Directors admitting the Vestas wind turbine exceeds state noise regulations - mistake town hid memo from voters prior to voting to take down wind turbines

7. WTOP -CBI meeting 2012 open honest discussions to resolve issues -mistake town had noise warning letter and maps three years before meeting but hid information.

8. MassDEP -Project Regulatory Agreement- mistake town forgot to tell Town Meeting about the brokered agreement between Mass Clean Water Trust & Town of Falmouth

9. Falmouth Board of Health Meeting June 2012 63 people testified as some respondents or spoke for family members about wind turbine noise health issues- mistake town took no action because they had the noise warnings from Vestas.

10. The Falmouth Board of Health requests that the MassDEP conduct a health assessment of this situation: Mistake not one individual was interviewed or examined by any state agency.

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