Two wind turbines that were built on Cape Cod are now being considered for removal because local residents are getting sick from their impact on the environment.
In the community of Falmouth, residents are complaining of headaches, dizziness, and sleep deprivation. Falmouth resident Neil Andersen said, “It gets to be jet-engine loud. Every time the blade has a downward motion it gives off a tremendous energy, gives off a pulse. And that pulse, it gets into your tubular organs, chest cavity, mimics a heartbeat, gives you headaches. It’s extremely disturbing and it gets to the point where you have to leave.”
The price for the turbines was $10 million; removing them will cost an estimated $5 – $15 million, but Falmouth’s five selectmen have decided to go ahead with the project. As Selectman David Braga said, “The selectmen unanimously voted to remove them. We think it’s the right thing to do, absolutely. You can’t put a monetary value on people’s health and that’s what’s happened here. A lot of people are sick because of these.”
Ultimately, the local citizens will decide; a town meeting vote is scheduled for April and municipal elections will be held in May. Falmouth Town Manager Julian Suso said, “It’s highly likely that what the voters will be determining is are they willing to tax themselves at an appropriate amount to cover the cost and dismantle and shut down the turbines?”
For now, the turbines are only running from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and they are losing money.
The opposition to removing the turbines was expressed by Megan Amsler of the Falmouth Energy Committee, who said:
To say “let’s let the voters decide” — it sort of flies in the face of what we went through all these years. We never tell somebody “hey, you’re going to have to take that coal plant down or you’re going to have to stop mining the mountain tops.” These are very visible and a lot of other ways that we get our energy are invisible to the average American. People don’t even know how much energy they consume on a yearly basis so I think it’s good for people to be able to see where their energy comes from and know that it’s coming from a clean source.