SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

September 29, 2012

Second Ipswich turbine on way

By Bethany Bray
STAFF WRITER

---- — IPSWICH — The town’s second wind turbine is slated to be up and running by Thanksgiving.

The new turbine’s foundation is finished, and its blades and other components are expected to arrive in mid-October, said Tim Henry, director of Ipswich’s utilities department. It’s expected to be operational and generating power by the end of November.

The new turbine, like the town’s first, will be built at the end of Town Farm Road.

Unlike the first turbine, which was a joint project of the town’s utility company and public schools, the second turbine will be privately owned. D&C Construction of Rockland will build the turbine, and the town has agreed to purchase 100 percent of the power it produces.

The new turbine is expected to produce 4,000 megawatt hours of power each year, or roughly 4 percent of the town’s power needs, said Henry. Manufactured by Hyundai, the turbine will be 400 feet tall, from the base to the top of its blade.

The town’s first turbine produces roughly 3 percent of the town’s power needs.

“It’s been operational for 16 months, and it has pretty much met its predicted output,” Henry said.

Residents at a November 2011 special Town Meeting voted overwhelmingly to authorize selectmen to lease a town-owned parcel for the second wind turbine. The utility department has since negotiated a purchase-power agreement with D&C. The 20-year agreement averages 11 cents per kilowatt hour, said Henry, with the town paying a slightly higher rate for the first 10 years and a lower rate for the second decade.

The project hit a slight bump last winter, as North Ridge Road resident John Reydel filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office over the town’s bidding process to contract with D&C.

The town has since heard from the AG’s office, who said they were no longer pursuing the matter, said Henry.

Bethany Bray can be reached at bbray@salemnews.com and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.