Nov 5 Recap: Green Communities & Siting Renewable Energy

Many thanks to Maria Petrova and Gerald Boyle for their presentations and contributions to discussion at our last meeting.

We had an informative discussion on November 5, 2014 on the Green Communities application and requirements of the program thanks to Director of Facilities, Gerald Boyle. Residents may find the Energy Reduction Plan portion of the application most interesting, which can be found online with the entire submission. *Note some elements of the application are still being revised in coordination with the regional coordinator at Mass Department of Energy Resources.

Maria Petrova, Ph.D., a Wellington parent presented her most recent research on siting wind: “Sustainable Communities and Wind Energy Project Acceptance in Massachusetts” (vol 15, Winter 2014; Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology). Three different communities were researched, with most notable differences shown between Hull and Falmouth. With Hull, its success is attributed to several factors: community leadership (one stand-out leader in particular), geographic location of the wind turbine blends with other noises, and extensive community involvement in the process of siting (a 10-year period). With Falmouth, the community has struggled to accept wind energy and has closed down wind turbines. Issues revealed in studying this community include lack of community involvement in educating about wind energy and in siting the proposed turbines, inadequate siting yielding noise problem for residents – as well as a community predisposed to noise sensitivity – and rushed siting, among other issues.

Maria also reviewed the Green Cup Challenge which Wellington participated in last year and won 2nd place nationally. The importance of behavior and education can’t be stressed strongly enough when aiming to save energy consumption and costs. The process, checklists and outlines for approached behavioral programs can be viewed in her powerpoint presentation slides.