After years of uncertainty, Falmouth wind turbines to be demolished
6th June 2022
By Asad Jung, Cape Cod Times
The job will cost $39,950, but the town may have to pay more due to electric work and site restoration, said Town Manager Peter Johnson Staub.
The Massachusetts Clean Water Trust also agreed to accept a minimum payment of $975,000 from the town to resolve its loan. The initial loan the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust gave the town to build the turbines was $4,865,000.
“It’s been a contentious issue for a long time, and we’re pleased to bring it to a closure,” said Johnson-Staub.
A turbulent history
Known as Wind 1 and Wind 2, the turbines were installed in 2010 and 2013, respectively, at the wastewater treatment facility on Blacksmith Shop Road to support renewable energy initiatives. However, once the turbines were operational neighbors began filing lawsuits to shut them down due to noise and what they claimed were turbine-related health problems such as headaches, anxiety, and problems sleeping.
After years of legal battles and town debates, the Select Board voted in July 2017 to shut down the turbines.
But the difficulties for the town didn’t stop there. Once the turbines were no longer running, the town needed to find a way to dismantle them and either find another use or dispose of them.
The town initially wanted to have the turbines moved and operated elsewhere, though that idea never got off the ground. Falmouth also faced pushback from the state which denied its request to dismantle the turbines saying they were an “energy-efficient project.”
With the recent contract award and loan forgiveness, the town has taken an important step towards relieving itself of the problem. And although the failure of the wind turbines may be a setback for Falmouth’s commitment to renewable energy, officials haven’t given up yet.
“Obviously it was by far the town’s largest renewable energy project, but with that said there are many opportunities that we can now explore for other renewable energy projects,” said Johnson-Staub. He mentioned a focus on solar and energy-efficiency projects.
The next step for the town will be to finalize the contract with Atlantic Coast Dismantling LLC.