Falmouth Receives Major Debt Relief on Turbine Cost

FALMOUTH – An agreement reached between local and state officials is going to save Falmouth a large sum of money.

The debt was incurred when a Superior Court Judge told the town it must permanently shut down two wind turbines known as Wind 1 and Wind 2. They were erected in 2010 and 2012 respectively. The debt relief is aimed solely at Wind 1.

Susan Moran, Falmouth Selectmen Chairman, was happy to announce the massive amount the town has saved.

“The Board of Selectmen voted to enter into an agreement which reduces the obligation from about $1.5 million to about $178,000,” she said.

Had the town not received the relief, it would have had to pay $110,000 a year for the next 15 years. The initial amount owed was the result of a prepayment from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Technology Center related to renewable energy certificates.

The town will continue to pay $385,000 per year towards a municipal bond used to cover $5 million of Wind 1’s total debt of $6.5 million.

Town Manager Julian Suso was quick to acknowledge his two partners in working on the agreement. “I want to thank Town Council Frank Duffy and Finance Director Jennifer Petit for their participation in the negotiations with Mass. CEC, and bringing this to an appropriate settlement,” he said.

Last June, the judge decided that the turbines were a nuisance and ordered that they not be used at their current locations, the result of a lawsuit brought forth by an abutter.

Wind 1 was denied a special permit by the Zoning Board of Appeals in 2015, and has not operated since.

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