“Wind turbines are now seen as an integral part of the Danish cultural landscape. They are viewed as a physical manifestation of our collective wish to reduce pollution. Turbines, when located thoughtfully and sensitively, can enrich the cultural landscape and be an integral part of it.”
Frode Birk Nielsen, Landscape Architect, Aahus, Denmark
In keeping with its charter to bring renewable energy to the Cape and Martha’s Vinyard in conjunction with the Cape Light Compact, the Cape & Vineyard Electric Cooperative (CVEC) initiated feasibility review for a proposed two-turbine installation in the host town of Brewster in 2010. To view more details on the Brewster Industrial Park Wind Project, click here.
Under the arrangement proposed in 2010, Brewster would have benefitted from an annual lease payment of $50,000 per turbine as the host town. In addition, 50% of the power produced by the turbines erected in the host town would have been allocated to the host town. The remaining power production from the turbines would have been evenly split amongst the members of the Cooperative. At the time, there were nineteen members of the Cooperative, the County of Barnstable, Town of Barnstable, Town of Brewster, Town of Harwich, Town of Dennis, Town of Tisbury, Town of Bourne, Town of Eastham, Town of Sandwich, Town of Provincetown, Town of Mashpee, Town of Edgartown, Town of Orleans, Dukes County, Town of Yarmouth, Town of Falmouth, Town of Chatham, Town of West Tisbury and Cape Light Compact.
In spring of 2011, the town of Brewster asked its Planning Board for a special permit for the two 1.8MW wind turbines to be constructed in the town’s industrial zone, 1,800′ from the nearest residents, in support of the project. On Feb. 9th the Brewster Planning Board was unable to carry a vote to deny (3 yea, 3 nay and 1 abstention), and an “assumed denial” was entered.
In response to the “tie vote” from the Planning Board on the special permit, the Brewster Selectmen placed an article on the warrant for 2011 spring town meeting, asking the people of Brewster to demonstrate support, or lack of support, for the wind project by giving the Selectboard the power to grant the wind turbine permit as a “matter of right”. The vote fell just short of the super-majority required at town meeting.
As of 9.20.11 the wind project is alive but on hold. Next steps for the wind project will require an appeal with the Massachusetts Department of Utilities and legal procedures will add to the project’s expenses. As CVEC goes forward with Round II of its Photovoltaic initiative (click here to see the details on CVEC’s PV initiative, Round II), review of photovoltaics as an alternative, or in addition to, the wind project will be undertaken.
To read more about the proposed turbines in the host town of Brewster,click here.
To read more about wind energy technology in general, click here.