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Mayflower Wind should look for alternative locations for cable landing, Falmouth official says

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Mayflower Wind
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This slide from a virtual tour of Mayflower Wind's proposed cable-landing sites earlier this month shows where cables could be buried along Worcester Avenue in Falmouth. At the top of the image is Falmouth Heights Beach.

The town of Falmouth is asking Mayflower Wind to consider alternative locations to bring power ashore from its offshore wind farm.

Mayflower has proposed landing the cables at Falmouth Heights Beach, along Worcester Avenue or the nearby ballfield.

But the chair of the Falmouth Select Board, Doug Brown, said Mayflower should consider locations that see less recreational use.

“I'm wondering why the kite field at the end of Falmouth Heights Road couldn't be considered,” he said. Although people do fly kites there, it’s not used for organized sports, he said. “It's more of a rolling-hill type of topography.”

Some residents are concerned about potential health effects from electromagnetic fields.

Brown said settling on a location is the first step toward a more thorough review by a scientific consultant, hired by the town at Mayflower Wind’s expense.

Once the site is identified, “then they can do their real, in-depth assessment of what the health and safety risks are, given the use of the land,” he said.

A draft report on current research on the health effects of electric and magnetic fields has already been posted on the town website.

Brown said some residents have suggested bringing the cables ashore via the channels at Little Pond or Falmouth Harbor.

The Select Board initially preferred Surf Drive, but Mayflower Wind said that wasn’t feasible. As of early March, Worcester Avenue was the company’s first choice.

A public comment hearing with the state Energy Facilities Siting Board, previously scheduled for this month, has been postponed at Mayflower’s request. No new date has been made public.

The company is reviewing an information request from Falmouth officials regarding the siting of the project, Mayflower spokesman Christopher Hardy said. He said he could not give more details.

The town of Falmouth plans to hold a public hearing on Mayflower Wind in mid-to-late April.

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to CAI.