Falmouth, Mass. Board of Selectmen agree to day operation of turbine, only.

At its meeting Monday night, the Falmouth Board of Selectmen voted to shut down Wind 1, one of the town's 1.65-megawatt turbines off Blacksmith Shop Road, from 7pm to 7am daily, beginning in about two weeks. 
According to the Cape Cod Times, selectmen chair Mary Pat Flynn said that the partial ceasing of Wind 1's operation is a compromise between the town and the turbine's abutters, many of whom have long complained of adverse health effects as a result of the turbines running so close to their homes. 
Last November, the Board of Selectmen voted to shut down Wind 1 in the midst of complaints from abutters in the Blacksmith Shop Road area that the turbines were causing adverse health effects. At Town Meeting last month, residents voted in favor of both an article to shut the municpal wind turbines off until November, as well as an article that would allow selectmen to adopt mitigation strategies with regard to the turbines' operation through the end of the year.
Also on Monday night, the Falmouth Board of Health voted to hold an emergency hearing on the health effects of the wind turbines on May 24. The board will accept oral testimony from abutters affected by the turbines, as well as written testimony, within ten days of the hearing. The board will subsequently decided whether to order an emergency shutdown of the turbines.  


  1. Anonymous5/10/2012

    This goes along with what we've heard for years from some of the Cape's self-appointed expert bloggers, that turbine noise at night is the big problem. Shutting them down at night will will only make their poor efficiency even poorer, from 25% to 15% if they are lucky. What a waste of Falmouth's and America's tax dollars.

  2. Anonymous5/10/2012

    Out in Oregon, they have recently been shutting them down, too. There is a glut of power because of spring run-off and the incredible availability of hydro.

    Plus they screw up the grid when they try to power down the more efficient and economical sources.

    In the United Kingdom they pay turbine plants not to produce because they are not reliable when needed like during heavy summer use.

    Until they build storage giant batteries roughly the size of the moon, wind power is a folly.

  3. Anonymous5/10/2012

    Just one visit to Falmouth prompted a Connecticut town to reject a proposed wind turbine project. One has to wonder why our leaders are still considering it? The State of Connecticut later imposed a one year moratorium on the building of industrial wind turbines in their state.

  4. Anonymous5/10/2012

    When the Wind 1 turbine was operational, some abutters complained the 1.65-megawatt turbine, located at the town's wastewater treatment plant, caused health problems such as migraines and vertigo. Wind 2 is also at the wastewater treatment plant, but farther from Blacksmith Shop Road.

    Advocates against the turbines struck a deal with selectmen last November, when the board agreed to shut down Wind 1, and temporarily operate Wind 2.

    Wind 2's operation, which started near the beginning of February, set out to test alleged negative effects on abutters in a 60-day trial. In its first 30 days, the turbine was spun without any curtailment. In the second 30 days it adheres to the same restrictions the selectmen put on Wind 1 in February 2011, which include shutting down the turbine when wind speeds reach 23 mph.

  5. Anonymous5/10/2012

    6:35 said, "One has to wonder why our leaders are still considering it?"

    Because our leaders don't have control, the state has control.

  6. Anonymous5/10/2012

    Thank God the TI district gave up their plan for a turbine and went with solar.

    This news, today from a country that has fare more experience and now finds wind energy to be a serious mistake.

    "Wind turbines at 16 Scottish schools have been turned off over safety concerns.

    Highland Council commissioned checks of where turbines were sited after worries were raised by councillors and members of the public.

    In 2009, a 50ft turbine collapsed in the playground of an 18-pupil school on the Island of Raasay.

    This incident and a number of others throughout the country prompted questions over safety.

    The local authority said the operation of the turbines would be suspended until the risks were fully assessed.

    Three secondary schools and 13 primaries are involved."

  7. This is a real town. And these are real effects felt by real people.

    Voters For Wind, and BP will deny the adverse effects until they are blue in the face. But anyone with common sense can look at the fact that the Falmouth board is shutting turbines down at night (and there are just two!), and know that Voters For Wind must be full of crap. (Actually, most people know that just based on the fact that their statements and actions are driven by nothing more than potential lease money.)

    What a wonderfully contrasting comment this would be to the Public Service Commission (RE Article X) in comparison to the Voter For Wind leaseholders who are making unsupported, blanket statements such as "I have visited Wind Farms and have noticed only a slight sound of wind blowing the blades, similar to movement of tree branches, or the gentle sound water on the shore line. Sounds of nature." Oh Yeah? Go tell that to the people suffering Falmouth.

    I think the Cape Vincent town board should ask BP to look into this matter, and see how the issues in Falmouth might be potentially applicable to Cape Vincent.

    Or do you think BP will just offer to turn off their project from 7PM to 7AM.

    How about it BP?

  8. Anonymous5/10/2012

    The Falmouth choice of putting turbines in their community was a public relations disaster for the wind industry.

    Tens of thousands of visitors see them each week day and weekend as they pour in and out of Cape Cod and see "no wind" signs on all the front yards.

  9. Anonymous5/10/2012

    The noise issues are real in Falmouth. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, especially a wind developer or an industrial wind public official on the take.

  10. Anonymous5/10/2012

    KC you speak as if BP is still going to have a project. do you have some inside info you'd like to share?

    The zoning committee is characterizing the new law as a defacto ban on turbines, since it would only allow too few to bother with.

    Won't have to shut them down at night if there aren't any.

  11. No inside info here... I was just trying to make the point that BP would laugh at the suggestion of shutting their project down at night. I laugh too, actually!

    And I agree with you... I haven't seen the zoning law, but imagine that if it is done right, with appropriate interests as the top priority, there wouldn't be room for enough turbines to make a project worthwhile. And any realistic person following this issue should expect that! At least by now, given how much more we know about the dangers of Big Wind and the non-existent benefits so eagerly touted by the wind lobby and leaseholders. And on top of that, for real world proof, we only have to look as far as Falmouth, Mass. - their project is only two turbines and it's a disaster!

    I think the Voters For Wind know and expect their projects are all but dead, too, if locals have anything to say about it (and probably even if they don't). That's one reason they were so desperately trying to keep power in the last election. (To explain the other reasons I'd need a PHD in sociology) They know if these projects are pursued responsibly, and without corrupt influence, they are non-starters.

    The recent comments to the PSC on Article X siting are further evidence of this. Based on those comments, it appears the pro-wind (mostly leaseholders or close family) believe their only hope is for the State to come in and ram these irresponsible projects down the throats of Capers (and everyone else for dozens of miles around).