Hull residents vote to add another wind turbine

While heated debate over wind turbine technology continues elsewhere in New England, citizens of Hull, Massachusetts, have voted overwhelmingly in favour of adding a Vestas 1.8 MW turbine to the Vestas 660 kW unit already owned by the tiny town. John MacLeon, utility operations manager, says the wind turbine, to be sited on top of a closed town dump, will cost about $1.8 million. The Vestas 660 kW turbine, up and running for almost three years, has been wildly successful, both politically and financially. MacLeod says it has saved the town $180,000 in electricity costs each year. He expects the newer turbine to save an additional $400,000. As a whole, he says, the town spends roughly $5 million on power each year. The new turbine will be built near the Weir River estuary, an important salt marsh ecosystem. An osprey nest is located quite near the site. Wildlife researchers and advocates hope to study the effect of the turbine on birds, bats and other animals. Residents from nearby Hingham, a very old-line town, had protested about the new turbine, saying it would mar their scenic view. But after MacLeod held an informational meeting with neighbouring townsfolk, opposition seemed to die down.