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					Massachusetts Wind Working Group
Wind Policy Committee
November 21, 2005 Meeting Minutes

Participating:
Glen Berkowitz, Kristen Burke, Bob Grace, Jan Gudell, Dick Michaud, Keren Schlomy,
Joe Turnbull, Jack Wiggin

REMINDER: The next meeting is scheduled for January 11, 2006 at U. Mass. Boston
from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM. Room to be determined.


Wind on Farms:

Jan Gudell brought a wind map with an overlay of all agricultural land. It seems that few
farms are in the areas where winds of 15.7+ mph are predicted, but a number are in the
areas where winds of 14.5-15.7 mph are predicted at 70 meters. Kristen noted that actual
wind when measured is turning out to be lower than the expected winds predicted on the
wind map.

Keren discussed her meeting with Larry McCormick, General Counsel of the MA
Department of Agriculture. Larry noted that while Frank DiLuna, Farm Bureau Counsel,
considers wind to be an agricultural byproduct, the Department disagrees with respect to
Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) land. The Department’s position is that it
will only approve wind behind the meter on farms (i.e. for use on the farm itself). On
Agricultural Preservation Restricted land they would need to review the APR agreements
in question. Larry noted that public water supplies and cell towers are forbidden on APR
land. Larry noted that the Department opposed a proposed project in Fitchburg where a
developer (Bill Hubbard) wanted to build wind with federal grants on the Soine far, and
sell excess to the grid. Larry stated that (non-APR) farms considering wind can get
around local laws (e.g. height restrictions) for construction that is part of the farm.

Ron Smallowitz in Falmouth was doing a wind feasibility study (Jan has been working
with him). There was discussion of the (then) upcoming symposium on wind scheduled
for December 7 in Borne. The Symposium would include a review of a case study by
Boreal-Renewable on wind power for greenhouses, and speakers included the MTC,
Cape Self Reliance, Cape Cooperative Extension, and a farmer in Harwich.


Wind Bylaws:

Committee member Paul Cleri provided a copy of the 12/14/04 Cape Cod
Commission/Cape Light Compact model bylaws (which were provided to the MTC to
post on the website. The bylaws do not cover residential facilities. Kristen noted that
there were a number of potential projects on the Cape, including one by Dan Webb
Realty which need to get height and setback variances or amendments at Town Meeting,
and that they might provide an opportunity to amend the Falmouth bylaws for wind.




Bird and Bat Studies:

EOEA is working on a model bylaw, a statement on wind, and how to approach avian
impacts. However, David Cash at EOEA lost his assistant so no new news in this area.


Use of Commonwealth Land for Wind Development:

Jack said that David Cash, in remarks to DCR’s Stewardship Council on October 27, said
that the State was a year away from proposing a policy for wind on Commonwealth land.


Reports on projects:

The Massachusetts Maritime Academy received its Conservation Commission permit by
agreeing in writing not to operate the turbine between April and September while further
avian studies are being done. Kristen provided an article on this, the text of which follows
these minutes.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation is putting up a MET tower on the
Naskatucket Reservation in Mattapoisett to do 14 months of data collection. The Town
will apply for a permit and the DCR will lease the land.

After two years of permitting with the Town of Blandford the Turnpike will use an
existing tower to host a MET tower on a Turnpike rest area.

Portsmouth Abbey is getting a V47.

Lynn water treatment plant is proposed as the site of a wind turbine, 100% behind the
meter. The town of Fairhaven is proposing two turbines at its wastewater treatment plant.

MTC is bidding to acquire some V-82s (1.65 MW) for its low income energy initiative.
May be used at Cape Cod Community College site (which is confronting a FAA problem
having to do with holding patterns). Paxton is another potential site for the low income
program. MTC is working on a met tower for another potential low income program site
at the Truro Highland Center, Cape Cod National Seashore. However, that site is
confronting a potential FAA radar problem.

Nahant voted down a proposed bylaw allowing wind.
Net Metering Legislation:

There was no movement on the bill and Glen stated that it would carry forward to the
next legislative session. He also noted that they had settled on covering up to 2 MW.



FAA/Radar Interference and Wind:

There is still nothing comprehensive from the FAA on what types of turbines interfere
with what types of radar. Jack noted that the FAA originally said that Hull’s wind turbine
was causing radar interference, but then acknowledged the problem had been resolved. It
was noted that blade technology is changing and that it would at least be helpful for the
FAA to lay out where they have had problems in the past and where they have not.
Kristen suggested it may be an issue of getting technical folks to talk to the technical
folks at the FAA. It is believed that AWEA is not looking at this issue yet, but Kristen
will check on whether it is scheduled to be included in their June conference.

Prior to the meeting Karen Adams provided this contact information, which Keren will
use to follow up with the FAA:

       Sue Dempsey, is the person in charge of the hazard determinations at FAA in
       Burlington. (781) 238-7522

       Ellen Crum was responsible for the review of the appeal of the Cape Wind
       determination (202) 493-4562


Guidance Developed by Government or NGOs:

The New England Roundtable on Federal Renewable Energy Policy published its Report
on Recommendations for Growing Renewable Energy. This document has been
submitted to the MTC for posting on its website.
[http://www.masstech.org/RenewableEnergy/ne_report.htm ]

Massachusetts Audubon has been working on guidance for pre and post construction of
small wind on their property. This assumes a site has already been chosen and does not
cover site selection.

New York State (NYSERDA) is working on guidance for commercial scale wind. They
hired a consultant to prepare a draft, but are still in the early stages of the process.
Water-Dependent Use and MA Chapter 91:

Discussion was on the MEPA office’s original ruling 3-4 years ago (which they reference
regularly) that off shore wind on flowed tidelands is not included as a water dependent
use*.

*   The referenced decision:
    The May 29, 2003 Certificate of the Secretary of Environmental Affairs on the
    Environmental Notification Form for the Gloucester Wind Turbine Generators
    proposed for Ipswich Bay (within the Commonwealth’s waters) by Winergy, LLC
    stated that “DEP has determined that the project is a non water-dependent use of
    tidelands, and will therefore require a variance from M.G.L. Chapter 91 and 310
    CMR 9.00.” The standards and requirements of the variance process are specified at
    310 CMR 9.21:
        1. The specific regulatory provisions from which the proponent will seek
            variances;
        2. Alternative designs, locations, or construction methods that would allow the
            project to proceed without a variance (the EIR should also explain why these
            alternatives are unreasonable);
        3. The detriments to public interests in waterways due to the project, and
            proposed means by which the proponent will minimize these impacts;
        4. Proposed measures to compensate for any remaining detriments to public
            interests in waterways; and
        5. The overriding public interest served by the project, with provision of
            adequate supporting documentation.

    The certificate further said that the “EIR should also address the standards for non
    water-dependent infrastructure facilities at 310 CMR 9.55, including analysis of
    impacts to maritime commerce, industry, recreation, and associated public access;
    living marine resources and water quality; and public views, visual quality of the
    shoreline environment, and historic and cultural resources near waterways.”


Cape Cod Times Article on Bourne Wind: November 21, 2005

       Bourne OKs wind turbine

       By CONOR BERRY STAFF WRITER BUZZARDS BAY - The first state-owned
       wind turbine could rise on windswept Taylors Point in less than six months, now
       that a final regulatory hurdle has been cleared.

        An artist's drawing depicts the proposed wind turbine on Taylors Point. The 170-
       foot turbine will be about 248 feet high when its top blade is vertical.
The single-turbine proposal by the Massachusetts Maritime Academy had been
waiting for approval from the Bourne Conservation Commission, which reviewed
the project under the state Wetlands Protection Act.

After multiple meetings, the conservation commission approved the plan Thursday
with conditions and closed the public hearing on the matter.

Bourne Conservation Agent Heidi Marsella had raised concerns about the
proposed turbine, particularly whether it poses a threat to endangered migratory
birds. She cited a recommendation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service urging
preconstruction avian-impact surveys to determine potential impacts on the
federally endangered roseate tern.

Though the conservation commission does not have authority to determine
whether the turbine might impede or harm migrating birds, the panel
recommended in its ''order of conditions'' that the academy consider the advice of
the federal agency and conduct studies before breaking ground.

The commission was involved in the review of this project because the proposed
site on Taylors Point is in a coastal zone area near wetlands and bird habitat.

Roseate terns congregate annually on Monomoy, off Chatham, but they haven't
been spotted near Taylors Point for more than a decade, according to a study
cited by Fish and Wildlife Service officials. They also said a new study would
provide fresh data and establish whether the turbine is dangerous to terns or
other migratory birds that might fly through the project area.

Such a study could delay the project for up to five years, according to academy
officials.

While the Fish and Wildlife Service did not play a regulatory role in this project,
the agency would get involved if the academy were found in violation of either the
Endangered Species Act or the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

The federal statutes would be triggered if an endangered tern were to die after
colliding with the turbine, for example. That could result in fines, delays or
suspension of the project.

Academy officials argue the proposed turbine poses minimal risks to birds and its
clean-energy benefits outstrip potential threats.

''We were understanding of the protracted process because of the newness of the
turbine. ... But we were pleased with the commission's approval of the project,''
Adm. Richard G. Gurnon, president of the maritime academy, said Friday.
The wind energy project is expected to cost about $1.3 million and save the
academy about $250,000 annually in energy costs. The academy's yearly electric
bill is around $600,000.

Savings to the academy are really savings to the taxpayer, according to Gurnon,
since the maritime college is a state-owned institution.

The three-blade, 660-kilowatt turbine will stand nearly 248 feet when its top
blade is vertical, though the tower itself is only 170 feet.

The turbine will likely be installed in sections over the course of a few days,
beginning in April.

The Federal Aviation Administration determined last month the turbine would not
pose hazards to air navigation, though it required flashing warning lights on the
structure.

The FAA must be notified five days before construction reaches its greatest
height, according to John DiModica, the state Division of Capital Asset
Management official overseeing the project for the commonwealth.

Fish and Wildlife officials say the turbine is unlikely to endanger roseate terns as
long as it's not operating when birds are in the area.

To that end, academy officials have agreed to shut down the turbine when terns
are present. In such cases school officials would temporarily cede control to state
wildlife officials, who would determine when operation of the turbine could
resume.

''The liability is ours,'' Gurnon said.

Vernon Lang, assistant supervisor of the New England Field Office of the Fish
and Wildlife Service in Concord, N.H., said it would make ''eminent sense'' for the
academy to study the site for wildlife impacts before work gets under way.

''Applicants need to take a hard look before they invest millions of dollars,'' Lang
told the Times in an interview earlier this month.

Conor Berry can be reached at cberry@capecodonline.com.

(Published: November 21, 2005)

				
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