Hearing postponed on Savoy wind power bylaw change

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SAVOY — A planned public hearing Thursday on changes to Savoy's wind-power bylaw will be rescheduled.

John Tynan, chairman of the Select Board, said he learned many residents who wanted to attend the hearing were unable to do so because of the date.

"We can't put all the players together," he said. "We thought we had all our ducks in a row but we didn't."

A new hearing has been tentatively set for Aug. 24. A new legal notice will be published, Tynan said.

The hearing will gather views on whether Savoy should adjust its bylaw to allow wind turbines to stand 455 feet high, instead of 425 feet.

The town is considering the change at the request of Minuteman Wind LLC, which plans a five-turbine installation on West Hill, near the Hawley line in the northeast corner of Berkshire County. Palmer Capital Corp. of Cohasset is leading the effort on behalf of Minuteman Wind.

The requested change is driven in part by the fact that turbine blades used for the lower height project are no longer available, Tynan said.

"That causes a problem with them reaching the capacity they wanted," he said of the company's intended electricity output. "A little bit higher is quite a lot of energy produced."

Lindsay Deane-Mayer, a project manager with Palmer Capital, said this week that construction is possible regardless of the outcome of the bylaw change.

"They don't plan on stopping the project," Tynan said.

Tynan said the rescheduled public hearing with the Planning Board will give residents a chance to weigh in.

"It's to get a sense of how the town feels," he said. "We want to make sure it's fair for everyone."

Any bylaw changes will need to win two-thirds support at a town meeting.

The town, meantime, is poised to sign a contract with a New Hampshire consultant who will represent it in talks with Minuteman Wind on payments in lieu of taxes.

Reach staff writer Larry Parnass at 413-496-6214 or @larryparnass.


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