Spring Town Meeting will Decide Fate of Turbines

Town meeting members will vote on three warrant articles that will decide the fate of the town’s controversial wind turbines April 9.


Selectmen voted Wednesday night to place three warrant articles related to relocating or removing Wind One and Wind Two on the Spring Town Meeting warrant, according to the Cape Cod Times.

The articles will ask town meeting members to set aside money to pay for debt related to turbine construction and maintenance, pay for relocation or dismantling costs, and add funds to the 2013-2014 operating budget to cover lost revenue from shutting down the turbines.

The special town meeting will be held at the Lawrence School April 9.

mark cool February 05, 2013 at 08:38 PM
The Falmouth Selectmen are sending two representatives from the board, to negotiate with State and Massachusetts Clean Energy Center officials regarding wind turbine debt relief. It’s hoped that Falmouth legislative representatives (Senate President Theresa Murray, House representatives David Vieira and Timothy Madden) will lend their efforts and support to the negotiations. After attending the Superior Court Trail of Jan 28th and Feb 4th (adversely effect citizens versus Town of Falmouth’s Zoning Board of Appeals enforcement of Wind 1 continued operation), I’ve found some confused and contradictory information that may serve as justification for debt relief, and make the decommissioning and removal of Falmouth’s municipal turbines more palatable to Town Meeting and Voters. A document exists on public record, dated November 12, 2008 that may be instrumental in providing a large portion of Falmouth’s fiscal relief. The document is a “Request for Increased Award and Delegated Authority” addressed to the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust (MRET) Governing Board, from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (Nils Bolgen – project manager).
mark cool February 05, 2013 at 08:39 PM
The correspondence details the sale of the wind turbine for use in the Town of Falmouth wind project, and details pre-payment for renewable energy certificates from the Falmouth Wind Project. This request was MRET’s (loan) seed money used by Falmouth to move forward on this municipal infrastructure capital project through an advance on Renewable Energy Certificate (REC’s) payments. This request, made by the MassCEC on behalf of the Town of Falmouth, was intended to increase project cash flow and achieve minimum debt coverage ratios (municipal bond liabilities), thereby reducing overall finance costs. I noticed the date (November 12, 2008) of the correspondence. I noticed the project manager Nils Bolgen, who attended all the Falmouth WTOP meetings. And I especially took keen interest in subparagraph 1. Sale of Wind Turbine – second sentence in the request document - “The Falmouth project is fully permitted and the Town has completed it’s public procurement process.” This correspondence makes two arguments of the Town’s recently conclued trial in Mass Superior Court, very suspect! 1) Abutter notification Why would Falmouth’s Energy Committee Chairman testify that abutter notifications continued to be sent after 2008, if the project was “fully permitted” sometime prior to November 12, 2008 (date of document request)?
mark cool February 05, 2013 at 08:39 PM
2) Building Commissioner Permit Process Why would Falmouth’s Building Commissioner testify that he deferred his permit approval until the issuance of a variance rendered by the State Code Appeals Board in November 2009, when the project had been “fully permitted” prior to November 12, 2008 (date of document request)? I very well may be interpreting this wrong, if the meaning of “fully permitted” has some other connotation not associated with a building permit? Yet, it’s very concerning that MassCEC’s request for a funding contract alteration, from the MRET, should lead the funding/lending authority to believe the Falmouth wind project was fully permitted. Falmouth’s Wind 1 turbine’s building permit had not been issued by the Building Commissioner until June 30 2009 (see WTOP Final Report – Timeline appendices). The date of the MassCEC request, to the MRET, predates the issuance of the building permit by at least 7 1/2 months. This is a major conflict of process and transparency, requiring a full explanation. The predicament in which MassCEC places itself, if I’m interpreting this document accurately, potentially provides strong evidence / justification that Falmouth’s subsequent debt obligation, in the turbine removal process, is the direct result of false representations made to the lending agency (MRET). It must be noted, the MassCEC mission work is to accelerate the development and deployment of renewable energy projects in Massachusetts.
mark cool February 05, 2013 at 08:40 PM
The MassCEC performed as financial liaison /advisor for the Town of Falmouth, during funding contractual modifications necessary to move the Wind 1 project forward. The request made to the lender (Mass Renewable Energy Trust), by MassCEC, was effectively based upon, subparagraph 1.’s (of MassCEC’s request), inaccurate and misleading information. All begging the question: should Falmouth Citizens be responsible for a debt resulting from deceit, misrepresentation and lies exercised by an agency concerned only with progress toward their mission goal, and achievement of the Administration’s state wind energy agenda target? In a word ~ NO
Bill Carson February 06, 2013 at 01:07 PM
Town Meeting Members need to be educated by town officials about the operation and maintenance costs of these commercial wind turbines after the warranty runs out. Falmouth Wind 1 already has electric switch problems. Persistent mechanical failures have happened at Otis AFB (Cape Cod), Princeton, Massachusetts and Portsmouth ,Rhode Island. Catastrophic failures in the gearboxes costs as much as 1.5 million in repairs. The gear box transfers the power from the blades to the generator . The gearboxes are one of the most expensive components of commercial wind turbines. A federal agency the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) says : "wind systems require significant repair or overhaul well before the intended life is reached." Falmouth Wind 1 was built in 2005 and put into service in 2010.
mark cool February 07, 2013 at 10:20 PM
Falmouth has been made a fool, a pawn in a WIND game of State deceit.
Bill Carson February 20, 2013 at 01:23 AM
How wind turbines ruin your health : Wind Rush- Wind Turbine Health Threat http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiCQabGuKFk Check this video -you'll understand how the health of citizens is being ruined world wide


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