More problems at Fairhaven wind turbines; Builder promises fix - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

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More problems at Fairhaven wind turbines; Builder promises fix

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by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis

mcurtis@abc6.com

Fairhaven's two wind turbines were not running Monday, and repairs to one of them were underway. Crews were on hand shoring up the base of the north turbine, after the developer found that it sunk by about one-fifth of an inch. But some residents aren't worried.

"I'm not concerned about it. I'm sure they are going to be able to fix it because there is cement underneath there that they can connect onto... No there are not going to run that turbine if they are not safe," said wind turbine supporter Bob Brown of Fairhaven.

"It's not doing any harm to me because I live over that way," said wind turbine supporter Connie Demedeiros of Fairhaven.

But because of the settling, crews were checking bolts, adding cement, and surveying both turbines to make sure they are level and stable.

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "There are critics in Fairhaven who say the turbines never should have been built on soil that is too wet and sandy."

Some believe the turbines were built on unstable wetlands. and will always be on unsafe ground.

Louise Barteau, a Fairhaven wind turbine opponent said, "If the foundation is not properly secured, I've always had a concern that these are so close to the bike path and I worry about public safety."

Turbine developer Sumul Shah emailed ABC6 News saying the turbines are safe, despite the slight sinking. The town wants assurances.

"I spoke to the developer and they say this is under warranty right now, and they are making sure the turbine is shut down. everything is safe. they've guaranteed me of the safety," said Fairhaven Board of Selectmen Chairman, Charles Murphy, Jr.

But wind turbines have failed in other locations, so shoring up Fairhaven's is definitely a precaution.

 

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