Voters to Decide Fate of Falmouth Turbines | WCAI

Voters to Decide Fate of Falmouth Turbines

May 21, 2013

Falmouth voters will decide if the two, town-owned turbines at the waste water treatment plant will be taken down.

With the two, 400-foot-tall turbines slowly spinning in the background, Rob Laird talks about climate change, and how he first thought the machines would be part of the solution.

"'This is great. This is going to solve lots of problems. And look it's right in my backyard. And that's kind of neat because it's this new cool thing coming along.' And then they turned it on. And it wasn't 20 minutes after that I called Town Hall. 'Um, this thing is really loud.'"

Laird lives about 1,300 feet from the closest turbine, which helps power the town's wastewater treatment plant. Since it began spinning in spring 2010, sum 40 neighborhood households have complained about things such as headaches, vertigo and sleep interruption -- which is what Laird experiences.

"We have got to come up with alternative power sources and stop burning fossil fuels. There's no question we have to do that. But I'm not sure that putting a wind turbine -- you can't make a neighborhood uninhabitable. I think that's the problem. And that's what this has done in affect."

Falmouth was among the first towns in Massachusetts to install large turbines so close to homes. When people complained, the town tried curtailing their operation when it got real windy. Then, they shut them off at night. They even considered buying out home owners. But now, Board of Selectman chairman Kevin Murphy says the turbines simply need to come down.

"It was a mistake. It wasn't the right project, it wasn't the right location."

This is a partial transcript. You can hear the full story by clicking the LISTEN button.