Falmouth Selectmen Vote to Ban Wind I and Wind II from Operating

FALMOUTH – After years of contentious debate and costly litigation, the town of Falmouth is now officially giving up on their two controversial wind turbines.

A proposal to prohibit the operation of both Wind One and Wind Two within the town received support from four of Falmouth’s five selectmen, with Selectman Samuel Patterson opting to abstain.

The move puts an end to an eight-year saga that saw area residents living near the turbines complain of health effects attributed to the machines.

Barnstable Superior Court Judge Cornelius Moriarty agreed in 2017 that the turbines caused a nuisance and ordered them to cease operation.

Falmouth Selectmen Doug Jones said that while he doesn’t want the turbines running in Falmouth, they may still have life somewhere else.

“So what I like to say is that we could find someone to lease this property, somewhere as close as possible and where we could run them, our turbines run on someone else’s property where there is space around them,” said Jones.

In 2015, the state appeals court ruled that Wind I needed a special permit to continue operation, which the Zoning Board of Appeals then denied the turbine.

Megan English-Braga said the entire wind turbine saga is costing taxpayers money.

“This decision is going to hurt every single person in this town in terms of taxes and resources. The best that we can hope for is that we don’t have a big bump in taxes,” said English-Braga.

“But the bottom line is a very big portion of the money people pay in taxes is going to go to address this issue,” she said.

The cost to decommission the turbines is expected to be in the neighborhood of $10 million to be paid off over the next decade.

Town officials are hoping to mitigate some of the expense through exploring loan forgiveness opportunities. Selectmen have also directed Town Manager Julian Suso to investigate leasing the turbines to an entity outside of Falmouth or offering the space atop the poles to a utility company once the blades are removed.

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