Plans submitted for 465-foot-tall wind turbine in No. Smithfield

Plans submitted for 465-foot-tall wind turbine in No. Smithfield

NORTH SMITHFIELD – It’s a project that’s been discussed for years – creation of a wind turbine on land near Dowling Village along Eddie Dowling Highway.

This week, the idea edged much closer to reality as Wind Energy Development LLC sought a special use permit for creation of a 465-foot-high structure on property owned by Ruth Pacheco.

The Planning Board gave its blessing to the proposal at an April 7 meeting, unanimously voting to recommend that the Zoning Board issue the permit.

That’s when abutters were first made aware of the plan.

“Not a lot of people know about it,” said Maureen Souza, whose mother owns a parcel adjacent to the land where the turbine would be built. “It’s about 46 stories high.”

If approved, the turbine would become one of the tallest structures in Rhode Island, as longer blades would be needed to catch electricity-generating wind in the area, which are generally less strong than coastal gusts. But proponents say the 87-meter-long blades would create minimal noise in the area and that shadows would be relatively insignificant.

The same company obtained a special use permit in 2010 for a different turbine, but the project got hung up on a technicality according to Town Planner Robert Ericson, and the permit ultimately expired.

A public hearing on this new proposal, scheduled for the Zoning Board’s Tuesday, April 26 meeting, was canceled.

The turbine would stand on an 800-square-foot base at 836 Old Smithfield Road in a rural residential zone on a portion of Pacheco’s 50-acre farm. The company, located in North Kingstown, would lease the space and earlier this month, the property owner testified that the project would help her family to keep the land as open space.

“It’s kind of a way of keeping agricultural land alive because otherwise, that would probably be sold,” said Ericson.

WED has reportedly been involved with installation of 10 turbines in Coventry and the replacement of a broken turbine in North Kingstown.

Plans submitted by DiPrete Engineering show that the site is within a half-mile of Booth Pond, Woonsocket Reservoirs One and Two, and Eddie Dowling Highway.

The turbine itself would be developed by Invensys, a German Company that produces structures using permanent magnets and no gear boxes.

According to maps submitted by WED, in the worst case scenario, noise from the turbine would be at 55 decibels, the same level as a normal conversation. The noise from nearby Route 146 is estimated at around 68 decibels.

“Basically, nobody is going to be disturbed by the sound,” said Ericson. “The location of this really minimizes the impact at anything around it.”

Mark DePasquale, owner and CEO of WED has testified that turbine would be expected to kill three birds a year, and that without improvements, it would last between 30 and 35 years.

But first, he’ll need the Zoning Board to issue a special use permit and grant a dimensional variance for the turbines tremendous 465-foot height.

Once the hearing is rescheduled, it will be residents’ only opportunity to weigh in. The plan does not need to go before the Town Council but will return to Ericson for signature before the company seeks a building permit.

Comments

These things are nothing short of an ugly eyesore! Lets further ruin the town by putting up a hideous turbine. There goes the quaint, small town appeal to North Smithfield!

Carol Minot

There's nothing "small town" about the area adjacent to Woonsocket. N Smithfield needs the tax revenue. Seems to me there's no better place in N Smithfield to site such development than along the border with the city of Woonsocket.

If you want "quaint" that's the wrong area in town to live.

NIMBY attitudes stifle improvements. If you don't like where progress is being developed, MOVE!

People didn't even want turbines off Block Island Twelve miles from shore, why would we want one in our town.

who thinks this is a good idea, I direct you to this website
http://www.akdart.com/wind.html

I find it very strange that the same people who espouse eliminating fossil fuels also don't want the solution in their backyard. The simple fact is that you cannot have your cake and eat it too.

I don't want to see windmills but, they are a darn sight better than powerplants spewing coal smoke all day long. I want an energy policy that is sound, cost-effective AND WORKS! What we have now - funneling government money into failed solar startups (who never had a chance due to poor management and lack of vision) is not getting the job done and we need to deal with the shortage of affordable clean energy.

This is merely the start and we must realize that we cannot have everything we want always wrapped in pretty paper and a shiny ribbon. I don't see you proposing any alternative to this so I must therefore assume you WANT things to stay as they are? Are you Luddites?

These wind turbine systems are an ugly eyesore for all that look at these. The only people that make money at these projects are the companies that install them. Watch any of the documentaries on these projects. Talk to the residents of town that have already made the mistake of allowing them. You won't find happy residents in those places. Half these companies go out of business with no one to repair them. This is also the same company that the Town of North Smithfield was considering going into business with but then booted them out of town! Hasn't this same company gone bankrupt a couple of times already?

You're response to the residents of that section of town is ignorant of the facts. That area of town happens to be "small town" and in fact is registered on the National Register of Historic places. It is described as, "The Smithfield Road Historic District" and is described as "the finest landscape of this type in this part of Rhode Island." The area has stayed relatively untouched since the road was built in 1741. It just so happens that this wind turbine is slated to be placed right in the middle of this district. I also wonder if you are the same Jason Richer that had an article in the Breeze a couple of years ago complaining about traffic on Route 7 in your area of town? If so Jason, how would you like it if the town or the residents told you that if you didn't like the traffic, while living on Route 7, then you should MOVE? This project is not a NIMBY situation. These wind turbine systems are scams by the companies that are building them. All residents should read about these projects. Theses companies are making fortunes off of tax credits at the expense property values and and quality of life. The Town of North Smithfield will lose money on property tax when area properties have taxes reduced due to the drop in value. There are cities and towns everywhere now that are not allowing turbines and towns are placing moratoriums on these shady companies.

I live on Old Smithfield Road and this is awful news. Of course the Planning Board gave their blessing, the towns pockets are probably getting filled by allowing it.

The applicant and land owner for this wind turbine is the same family (Pacheco and Frye) that were the leading opponents for the Dowling Village mall project. They were the leading voices behind the Valley Alliance which held up the building of the mall for years. Their complaints that the mall would destroy wildlife, birds, insects, the creation of noise, and ruin the quality of life with unsightly building and lights. Wind turbines kill thousands of birds, create a constant sound created by the blades, create a shadow and light effect that cause medical issues and ruin the landscape. These are well documented medical reports. Yet, Mrs. Pacheco has abandoned her moral stance and sold out her neighbors when it comes to her personal financial gain. The applicant stands to make in the neighborhood of $5,000 a month for the next 30-35 years. This turbine will stand taller than the pillars on the Newport Bridge and will be the tallest structure anywhere in Rhode Island. Yes, even taller than the tallest skyscrapers in Providence. So yes Aceguy, I agree with you that this hardly falls within the landscape, of not only the Historic District, but anywhere in the Town of North Smithfield (even in Mr. Richer's neighborhood).

I can not fathom the Town of North Smithfield approving a zoning variance or special permit in this situation. It is my understand that one of the requirements for these projects is that it won't change the landscape of the area. How can this not change that Historic District?!?

Here are some facts about wind energy and why wind project moratoriums are needed across the country :

- Every wind farm in America was approved and continues to operate because of fraudulent research and government collusion. With each passing day more information is coming to light about the many layers of fraud supporting wind energy and the hidden destruction caused from these turbines.

- At every one of these operating sites endangered species will or most
likely are being killed.In Hawaii where endangered species are routinely being killed by turbines, the true numbers of these struggling species being slaughtered is being hidden with fraudulent research.

-Individual wind turbines operating at locations of high quality habitat are
killing over 1000-1500 birds and bats a year.

- Worst or poorly sited are conservation group buzz words that actually mean
that these wind energy locations are slaughtering massive numbers of highly
protected species.

- Across the world fraudulent research and government collusion are hiding
well over 90% of the wind energy slaughter taking place.

- The last scientific wind turbine mortality study conducted for the wind
industry (that was not not rigged) was over 30 years ago by an ethical
ornithologist named MichaelD. McCrary. In marginal bird habitat he estimated
the turbine mortality to birds at 34.5 fatalities per MW, a rate more than 12
times what the industry is currently reporting.

- With approximately 2500 eagle carcasses being added each year, the total
of unaccounted for bald and golden eagle carcasses secretly shipped to the Denver
Eagle Repository is now over 33,000 since 1997. Many thousands of these eagle
have come from collisions with wind turbines.

-Extinction of species is neither green nor renewable but in this corrupt
world it is very profitable.

- Currently wind energy projects do not have to account for energy flowing
into projects and the actual net energy output from wind projects is not really
known. With this suspiciously convenient loophole, it is my belief that wind
farm energy estimates are highly exaggerated and tax dollars are unjustly being
unjustly handed out as credits.

- Corrupt politicians from both parties, are using your tax dollars to fund
this fraudulent activity and industrial slaughter. Think about this the next
time you vote.

The answer is with binding regulations and real laws................

There is no one on earth that understands better than I do the corruption and hidden devastation that exists with wind industry developments. This language below was written as a guide for communities to help protect them from fraudulent wind energy developers and government collusion.

Despite what is posted on the ABC birds web site, what is truly "Bird-Smart wind energy" is explained below.

Currently fake wind Industry research is designed to hide the truth. Bird smart wind energy requires honesty, credibility and accountability. Here is how all this can be achieved with this industry..........Pre-construction and post-construction field studies shall be conducted at every project site using the most advanced techniques available and will include video surveillance. All pre-construction and all post-construction studies will be made public.Pre-construction field studies must be conducted to document the maximum usage of species likely to be impacted by wind turbines and infrastructure development.

Deliberately designing and conducting pre-construction studies that avoid specific habitats, peak migration periods and selecting times of day that will eliminate important
data collection pertaining to any species of concern, will be considered fraud.

Post-construction studies will include scientific methodology such as daily searches and appropriate sized search areas that will eliminate the biased or fake wind industry research that has existed for decades. Post-construction field studies will include research into regional nesting failures of all special status species like raptors and include documenting territory abandonment of species.

When post-construction field studies are being conducted, only researchers involved with post-construction mortality studies will be legally allowed to touch carcasses. Wind personnel or for that matter anyone other than researchers caught moving carcasses will be subject to a charge of felony interference of an investigation because wind turbines do kill many endangered species and other highly protected species.

During the life of the project every carcass, crippled bird or bat found anywhere inside and within in one mile of the boundaries of the wind project site must be reported with this information made available to the public.

Information collected pertaining to all wind turbine impacts will be made public with no exceptions. This will eliminate the need for all wind personnel, lease holders, government wildlife agencies and researchers to be silenced with nondisclosure agreements and employment policies.

Only with these regulations or laws can honest mitigation ever can take place. This has never been done with any wind project located in North America.

Folks, this article shouldn't be a debate. Keep it simple since most of you are. It's a wind turbine, not a new strip club.

Renewable energy is the future whether you like it or not. No negative affects from this whatsoever. NS and any community should have an open mind to these things. Put it up!

Roof top Solar is the only renewable energy source with real promise. It does not slaughter rare and endangered species and will not cause extinction od species. Even so Solar will always remain a supplement for the energy needs of society. Biomass energy is considered renewable but it releases CO2 into the atmosphere, contributes to the major problem of deforestation, lack of biodiversity, and soil warming.

Seriously? A mega tower, equivalent to a 50 story building that is not only a blight to the historic area of N.S., but harmful to wildlife and precious species in the immediate area as well as nearby "protected" Booth Pond and 2 reservoirs and one would assume An incredible # of raptors, bats etc would be butchered, not to speak of the noise (not always audible to the human ear but harmful) and flicker effects. It is intrusive, dangerous and irresponsible. What happens when the 136' blades go flying off? Follow the money...that's what it's all about and not about safe energy alternatives.

I am opposed to this idea for the many reasons noted above by other writers.

How in the world has this project passed the Planning Board? I don't care what part of of this town you live in, you should not be in favor of wind turbines. If you don't understand why then you haven't done ANY research into the subject. Has this project really passed the Planning Board? How can Bob Erickson justify this project? Why does the Planning Board continue to fail us? Here are some facts concerning this tower:
1. It is 462.5 feet high. The Superman building in Providence, largest structure in RI is only 428, largest towers on Newport Bridge is 400.
2. The pole is 56 feet wide. The base alone is over 5 stories wide.
3. The sweep of the blade is 135 feet and spins at over 200mph.
4. The 2.5 mega watt turbine and one of the largest on the East coast
5. A very large road will have to be built for the turbine for building and repairs. Just the construction alone will destroy that Historic District, wildlife and possibly the watershed area that the entire City of Woonsocket relies upon.
7. If this tower were to drop, it would fall between a quarter and half mile.
How can the Planning Board possibly justify that this project falls within the confines of a variance or special use permit. Let's hope the Zoning Board has more common sense.

Too bad this site doesn't have more articulate people like yourself that make educated comments. With those specs you just mentioned the project does seem a bit absurd. Thus I've changed my mind thinking it's a good idea for NS.
Other places, yes, but the size of this one in NS, no.

I can take numbers and scare the liver out of people. This does not change the fact that the U.S. needs non polluting energy. Wind power does not pollute. NIMBY is prevalent in many areas.

After all, the real reason there is NOT a wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod is Teddy Kennedy not wanting to see it. Well tough toenails. Make rational decisions and not emotional ones. I want safety but, for crying out loud, don't scare people needlessly.

The Town Planner, Robert Ericson, states in the article above, "Basically, nobody is going to be disturbed by the sound." What Mr. Ericson really means is that HE won't ever be disturbed by the sound because he doesn't even live in North Smithfield. You see, Mr. Ericson is fortunate not to live in the town he has been systematically dismantling. He is a resident of Lincoln and lives in the quiet historical area of Limerock. The question that NRIGuy should be asking is, "when will the town officials put a stop to this man?"

This is the same Robert Ericson that was involved in the infamous "Gravel Ordinance" that would have allowed developers to strip mine land off Route 7. He was working with the developer's lawyer to rewrite the town's Gravel Ordinance. He was not working to benefit the town's residents.

This is the same Robert Ericson who promoted the spot zone change that would have moved Flagg RV mobile home sales located on Quaker Highway into the residential neighborhood across the highway.

This is the same Mr. Ericson who promoted the spot zone change on Sayles Hill Road from residential to business so that Anchor Subaru-Nisson car dealership could move their dealership roughly 900 feet from Route 146 up residents back yard. He was not only a proponent for Anchor Subaru but he was actually advocating for them. As one resident stated, "It appeared to all that attended the public meeting that Mr. Ericson could not do enough to assist the lawyers, surveyors, engineers, real estate appraisers and other "experts" that claimed the expansion into our homes would not bring negative effects, impact our quality of life or reduce our home values as he helped orchestrate the public hearing for Anchor Subaru-Nisson". He was driving the zone change just for Anchor. The town's Comprehensive Plan calls for other zone changes in that area to protect drinking water. Why weren't those areas included for zone change consideration?"

This is the same Robert Ericson who crafted, vetted and submitted a zoning ordinance for a solar farm in a residential area on a horse farm on Tifft Road that landed up costing the Town of North Smithfield legal issues and costing the taxpayers.

This is the same Robert Ericson who illegally approved a septic system on Grange road for a land owner at the request of a surveyor he routinely worked with. The problem was that landowner didn't own the land. Again, his actions cost the Town of North Smithfield legal issues and it's residents the cost of legal actions.

This is the same Robert Ericson who routinely excludes particular areas of the comprehensive plans to fit the zoning changes that suits him. This wind turbine is another attempt by the same Robert Ericson at another spot zone change while ignoring the comprehensive plan. This will again land up with legal actions against the town and cost the taxpayers for legal issues.

How many examples do we need? How many lawsuits do we need? How much money do the taxpayers need to spend because of his actions? When will our elected leaders do something about Mr. Ericson? He has lived quietly and comfortably in his neighborhood, of Lincoln, without gravel pits, car dealerships, wind turbines, etc. But his path of destruction has cost this town dearly and HE IS ABOUT TO DO IT AGAIN!

I was born and raised here. I attended school here and I own a business in the Town of North Smithfield. I have lived my entire life in this town.

While one person here states the U.S. needs non-polluting energy, they must realize that all that is "Green", is not good. The negative effects of wind turbines have been well stated by others here and are well documented by professionals around the world. Even our own Town Council has stated about these projects, "The only reason they're existing is because they're getting very strong economic credits and subsidies from the federal government," and "I don't think the Town Council should be involved in this complete and utter economic sham. This is not economically viable."

Although I have always believed in being progressive for the Town of North Smithfield, there must be a balance. It must be balanced by the type of project and it's location. Wind turbines anywhere in the Town of North Smithfield is just a very bad idea. Placement of a wind turbine in a residential and historical location is ridiculous. What would possess the town to even consider placing a wind turbine in that area of town is beyond my comprehension. Ruining the quality of the town, it's residents, property values, and quality of life for just ONE person's financial gain doesn't make sense. The Town of North Smithfield is not going to gain by this project. In fact, they will lose financially by this project. The only people who will gain financially will be the company who installs it, the out of state workers who assemble it, the foreign companies who produce it, and the ONE land owner. How can anyone think this is good idea for the Town of North Smithfield? It's only good for ONE resident of North Smithfield.

Let's hope and pray that the Town leaders get this one right and reject this project which, very obviously, does not fit into this town and especially not into that historic area.

First to have to stretch to almost 500' tall to catch the wind should be the first clue that this does not make sense. Why build an extra 200' higher than most Turbines if the wind is not prevalent there. Why would you go to these great lengths to put this in a beautiful bucolic area
on the National Historical Register. There are so many smarter locations for the expense, and so many non-invasive options for "Green energy". Maybe because they aren't as lucrative for politicians and land owners? It takes a community to do something beneficial, but only a few to do something harmful.

I think there is enough evidence in your post to seal an indictment on Mr Ericson. LOL

I'm neither for or against wind turbines, as they obviously have positive and negative aspects to them. But to state things like the "quality of life will be ruined", "property values will suffer", etc, is not valid in this situation. The full length of Old Smithfield Rd is within 1500' of a major highway, Route 146, which is extremely loud and busy all the time. That's all you can hear when you get out of your car to have a listen. Same thing with Sayles Hill Rd...it's so close to 146 that it's tough hearing the birds chirp sometimes. So stick to facts, like bird kills, will we see any monetary benefit as a town, etc. We need to educate ourselves. Has anyone seen the huge turbine at Wachusett Community College? Go take a look. It's less than an hour from NS. It is in a rural area next to the college. Very quiet and unobtrusive. But what benefit does it provide to the town or college? Also, bird kills are another question.

RC, I am not sure where you live, but I do live on Old Smithfield Road, and I can tell you that cars driving down 146 is NOT all you hear. The only time I hear cars is during the night when a large truck or motorcycles come by. During the day, yes, we actually do hear the birds chirping. (Don't get me wrong...birds chirping is not my main reason to oppose this project).

How are wind turbines an eyesore? I think they look great. And they will say to all residents and visitors to the area that we truly are a "Rhode Island Energy Champion" as the signs say. That we care about our community and our planet. Without things like this our children and grandchildren won't have any nice landscapes to enjoy at whatsoever.

If you want to talk eyesores why don't we discuss the ridiculous skyscraper that was allowed to be built at Holliston sand that RUINS the skyline in Slatersville, easily the most beautiful area in town. When you try to enjoy the beauty of the reservoir area its all you can see!

Why do residents think they are going to benefit from this project somehow?? Can someone please explain this? Seriously, how would North Smithfield be an Energy Champion? The Town of North Smithfield will not benefit from this wind turbine whatsoever!!! The town of North Smithfield and it's residents will not receive any benefits at all. The builders, manufacturers and the land owner who is leasing their land are the only ones making money. No one else. No one! It's really that simple!

This is quite different than the planned wind turbine of a year or so ago when the Town of North Smithfield planned on installing one at Dowling Village. At least in that situation the Town would directly benefit from the the project as they were a proposed partner.

No one in North Smithfield will make any money or benefit from this project except the woman who wants to lease her land.

Money isn't the only thing to work for in life. Somethings are more important, like playing your part in promoting sustainable energy. That's why the blue signs seen upon entering the town read "North Smithfield: A Rhode Island Energy Champion." Because we here in NS are supposed to set an example.

Climate change threatens everyone and this is just a small step in halting its advance.

I have read the news article and I have read the comments. I thought I was going crazy when I first read Mr. Erickson's comments, "The same company obtained a special use permit in 2010 for a different turbine, but the project got hung up on a technicality according to Town Planner Robert Ericson, and the permit ultimately expired."

WAIT! WHAT? I have lived here for over 25 years, and I have never heard of any wind turbine company obtaining a Special Use permit. That's because there has never been a wind turbine company that has ever obtained a Special Use permit! I looked into his comments and found the Town Planner is making statements that are just not true! There was never a Special Use permit for a turbine that expired!

What is Erickson talking about? After reading his history above with other projects and his failure to protect the residential areas of this town, it makes you wonder. Did he make the above statement on purpose? Or, does he just not know what is going on? Either way, his public statements are false and misleading to the public. He would lead you to believe that this turbine project has been approved in the past and that this is no big deal.

Can someone explain why our Town officials are misleading us? What's going on here?

Certainly not defending this town planner of ours, but maybe the special use permit he's referring to was in a different town.

"Cats kill an estimated 100 million birds a year. Flying into windows kills an estimated 100 million birds a year. Cars kill 100 million birds a year. So, take the highest estimate of wind turbine deaths and it is still 1/3 of 1 percent of any one of these other sources of avian mortality."

So are we going to ban cats, windows, and cars next?

Not taking a position for or against, but the main problem is the killing of raptors and bats. raptors and bats don't fly into windows or get killed by cats and cars. Maybe the technology has improved to the point where the kill rates are less, but that is one of the problems with wind turbines. Once again, both negative and positive sides to the turbines.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/how-many-birds-do-wind-turbines...

As a member of the North Smithfield Planning Board please let me offer support for the comments by Mr. Ericson.
The developer of Dowling Village realized the challenges that would have been encountered to build condos on the challenging terrain where it was originally proposed. Instead the concept of a wind turbine that could potentially supply electricity to Dowling Village entered the picture. Over time the developer appeared before the planning board with a proposal for a public / private venture for a wind turbine. A small section of land and access for construction of a turbine was reserved for town ownership. Concurrently the Land Trust and Conservation committee were hoping to acquire the land around Booth Pond. The land was to be leased to the owner / installer of the wind turbine at a sum sufficient to cover the annual Open Space bond money that would be expended for the land purchase. PB and ZBR minutes will confirm my comments.

Put one at the fire tower on woonsocket hill rd and let the town reap the benefits.

I appreciate you responding to my earlier post. However, your letter of response is just as confusing and convoluted as the statement of the Town Planner. How does it answer the question of when did this same developer obtain a Special Use Permit for a wind turbine? And when did it expire? The best I can tell that it never happened. It seems your response and Mr. Erickson's seem to be the same as it only serves to muddy up the waters. Are you Mr. Erickson?

Just wondering if you would have the same support for a wind turbine and a spot zoning change in the residential neighborhood where Flagg RV wanted to put their business? How about a Special Use Permit for that location so just Flagg RV can reap the awards and no one else? Would that be okay? Tell the neighbors in that neighborhood it's not an eyesore and then
come to the meeting and do one small step for the environment and the neighbors.

The only eye sores I see in WOONSOCKET are the pajama and slipper crowds and if i have to see them i say BRING ON THE WINDMILL!!

even if its an EYESORE at least its WORKING!! which is more than i can say for all the pajama wearers. free and unlimited electricity is what this state needs even my mr. bootsy knws that :>)

You just jumped the shark,,,,go home

87 meter blades, which have to spin from a point at least 87 m above the ground. So 87×2 is 174 Meters. The conversion from meters to feet says that 174 m is 570 feet.
Now let's suppose that the bottom of the blade tip needs to be at least 30 feet off the ground.
That's 600 feet tall at the tip of the blade.
Poses a serious navigational hazard the small aircraft leaving from the local airport. And should be visible from Boston to New York.

They say 55 dB noise. Not only do I not believe them, the reason I do not believe them is 55 dB noise at low frequency range is unbelievably loud. You can't "hear" the blades beating against the central pillar, but you and your house will "feel" them whumping like a helicopter miles away.

Furthermore the design is antiquated. Newer designs are 15% more efficient, and the fact they would propose and old design is nuts in the face of such an advance (other than it is patented).

Also the lifespan, I work in power electronics and can tell your that very few electronic systems last more than 7 years without maintenance.

At $0.10 per kW/hr a 1MW turbine will net $100/hr. That is only if the wind blows steady all day long. So maybe he'll make $50/hr per megawatt on average.
It will NEVER pay for itself, and after it does not, who pays to demolish it? There's no money in escrow for the task, so the town will be forced to do it.

The whole 600 foot tall thing is dumb from start to finish.

Hahaha...that's awesome! Has anyone bothered to look through the police department logs to see how many times they are over at Walmart? I have. The pajama and slipper crowd sure keep the police busy! Always someone being dragged out of there and into a squad car. Priceless! Go to the Northbridge Walmart. Just regular folks at that one and I've yet to see a police car there since it opened. Wait...I think we were discussing wind turbines...

You are correct we are discussing the turbine, but since you brought it up.... The town planning board and other officials in the Town of North Smithfield tried to sell us on the amount of tax revenue this mall would bring into this town. This was especially true of Lucien Benoit, who made this his pet project. Mr. Benoit sat on the planning board to get it approved and then switched to the Town Council to get it passed there as well. The group that fought against this mall made a very compelling argument that the increased tax revenue would be increased initially but in the long run it would end up costing the Town financially and the decrease the quality of our town. That group presented data from other towns such as Smithfield and other malls to show the increased police, fire, infrastructure, arrests and a multitude of other items would increase as the mall developed. Although "Dunkin," from above, may have too much time on his hands, his comments only go to prove a point that the group that fought the mall project is proving their data homework was correct. The crime rates, service calls, the need for bigger infrastructure etc. are all public record and will only get worse. This turbine does not serve the town of North Smithfield in any way, it will only chip away at degrading the quality of this town while lining the pockets of big business of the builders of the turbine company and the applicant, Ruth Pacheco.

This is the companies website. It's worth taking a look. Everyone is making money except the host community. What a scam.

http://windenergydevelopmentllc.com/

Where are pictures of the plan ?

" A public hearing on this new proposal, scheduled for the Zoning Board’s Tuesday, April 26 meeting, was canceled ".

Why ?

" Once the hearing is rescheduled, it will be residents’ only opportunity to weigh in. The plan does not need to go before the Town Council but will return to Ericson for signature before the company seeks a building permit ".

How convenient....

Something of this magnitude should go before the voters.

The town has been discussing the possibility of buying the Gold property for years. What about building a bunch of wind turbines on that property as a town project and let the whole town benefit from this instead of on just the land owner on this one they are proposing? From what I remember the planning board has been pushing the buying of this property for years for a whole lot of money. Maybe if they pay all that crazy amount of money, they can earn some of it back with a half dozen giant wind mills.

This story and comments have been a great read. I think most of the people commenting here get it!! But there are some that are talking about the benefits to the town and benefits of wind energy that just not getting it.

The builders of these turbines and the electric company could not care less if the wind turbine ever makes one penny of electricity. The wind turbine companies make their money off the tax credits and subsidies along with the building of these products, the installation and the repairs. And the electric company doesn't make money off these either. They are forced to buy the electric from these same people.

If the blades on these wind turbines never spin even one time, it doesn't matter. These companies have already made their money. This goes that one land owner as well. She will make her money from the leasing of her land whether the blades turn or not. Does anyone ever wonder why when you drive by these turbines and half don't ever seem to be working? It's simple people! It's because no one cares if they are producing any energy at all. The money has already been paid. The money is not earned by the blades turning. It's earned by convincing towns to allow the installations and the landowners to lease their land.

Its that simple, no one else gains from these things.

For the record I am one that would love to see alternatives to fossil fuel. I think the pro-wind people here were generally meaning well in their belief that the wind mills will help. But, they are not aware of what is really happening with these turbine carpet baggers.

@ GreenLionTeam - Couldn't have written it better. Sometimes people just don't want to hear the truth.

Thank You goes out to the Valley Breeze for letting the public forum keep us informed.Kudos to greenlionteam

I think they're great!

Can this be stopped at all from becoming a reality? Has this already become a "done deal" that nothing can stop? Don't we the citizens of this town have a word on this at all? Why not put it up for a vote?

There are a handful of new wind turbines on Rt 25 as you approach the Bourne Bridge in Wareham. I think they are a sight to behold as are the new turbines in Providence.

They are not noisey. They spin very slowly. They appear graceful.

Although I am not fond of the government subsidies they receive, it is a promising technology and it has been growing by leaps and bounds recently. The improvements they have made with them will only continue.

We have to start somewhere and I believe they have reached a point where I can be a proponent of them.

I'd welcome having one erected nearby...

Actually along the cost near the Cape Cod and along the shores of Rhode Island is the only place they make sense. It is where the wind is. Anywhere North of the RI coast doesn't have the wind to support the turbines. In fact, North Smithfield is a VERY poor location for wind and wind energy. We just don't have the wind to support them here. This is well documented, but that doesn't matter to the turbine companies. They get paid to install them, not to capture or harness wind.

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