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Jul 20, 2010 6:44 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton Town Board approves wind turbine on Long Lane farm

Jul 20, 2010 6:44 PM

The East Hampton Town Board in a split vote on Thursday approved the installation of a controversial 10-kilowatt wind turbine on a farm on Long Lane.

The three Republicans on the board, Supervisor Bill Wilkinson and Town Board members Theresa Quigley and Dominick Stanzione, voted in favor of the project, while Pete Hammerle, a Democrat, voted against it. The other Democrat on the board, Julia Prince, is on maternity leave.

“I think there should be more thought given to wind turbines, perhaps a comprehensive plan,” said Mr. Hammerle. He added that the approval of the 120-foot windmill could open the floodgates to more people who want to install the turbines, “and we could be all over the map on this thing.”

Ms. Quigley said that if the turbine generates too much noise, the board could revisit the matter and pass a resolution declaring it a nuisance and order it to be shut down.

At a hearing before the vote, several members of the public spoke against the turbine, citing its height and the noise they said it would create. One resident suggested that the windmill, operating at full tilt, could be a loud as a train passing by.

Nancy Gall, whose property abuts the farm, also objected to the possible noise.

“This turbine will have a negative effect on my property,” she said. “It will destroy the scenic view. And once this is approved, more windmills will be built.”

At previous hearings, comments were more evenly divided, for and against the project.

Stephen Mahoney, who owns the farm and nursery just west of Roberts Lane, wants the turbine to run a well pump to irrigate his plants. He expects to save about $2,000 a year in energy costs.

The windmill would stand 
on a 120-foot lattice tower in 
the center of Mr. Mahoney’s property. Its blades would 
be 23 feet in diameter.

“Obviously we are very happy with the board’s decision and looking forward to using wind power. We really came to this after serious consideration of our energy needs,” he said. “At one point, we seriously considered solar panels, but the wind is a much better return on our investment.”

Once ground is broken, it will take about 60 days to erect the tower and install the turbine, which will be connected to the electric grid, he said. On days when the wind is low, the farm will get its power from the grid and on days when the wind is high, any excess power will be delivered to the grid. The Long Island Power Authority will pay Mr. Mahoney for the excess power.

Mr. Mahoney has already received United States Department of Agriculture grants for the installation of the turbine. He said that the system would probably pay for itself within three years.

Roy Rakebiesch, of the Westhampton firm Windshine Inc., is planning the installation, which would be the only one of its kind in East Hampton, though the same windmill, a Bergey Excel, was previously installed at the Stony Brook Southampton campus.

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To everyone complaining about views and noise, how do you think the people of the Gulf feel having to put up with oil on their shores, destroying wetlands, marshes, fisheries, whole generations of workers?

Enough is enough - it is time for America to follow the rest of the world and transition to alternate power. Windmills are needed and we must do all we can to allow them to be built.
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Jul 16, 10 11:52 AM
"Enough is enough - it is time for America to follow the rest of the world and transition to alternate power."

Agreed! However, "the rest of the world" sees modern nuclear power as the primary source of "alternate" energy. The megawatts being brought online with nuclear dwarf solar and wind. Wind and solar have a place, but no serious scientist sees them as a replacement for fossil fuels.
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on Jul 19, 10 1:15 PM
I am happy this was approved. If it hadn't been, it would have sent a message that the town doesn't give a s*** about the enviornment. If this starts a trend of people wanting wind mills to save energy, I'd be very happy. I'd rather put up with some noise (which I'm sure will be very easy to ignore) and the view of the windmill then see the pictures coming out of the Gulf. Anything we can do to preserve our resourses and our land for our future generations MUST be met with positive reinforcement. ...more
By Sag Native (54), East Hampton on Jul 16, 10 12:25 PM
4 members liked this comment
By the time you can hear this thing from 100' away the background noise, from the Wind, will begin to drown it out. No worries.
By jfr (4), Loveland on Aug 17, 10 5:32 PM
I agree with peoplefirst and sag native - I can't imagine a more beautiful site then a horizon filled with power generating windmills. The alternative is simply unacceptable and unsustainable.
By setyoufree (69), Sag Harbor on Jul 16, 10 2:45 PM
2 members liked this comment
Good stuff, finally some sensibility coming out of East Hampton!
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on Jul 16, 10 3:22 PM
1 member liked this comment
While I agree with the sentiments expressed for weening ourselves off oil, I disagree with this approval. Pete is right - there needs to be a coherent plan for these. 120 feet tall with 23 foot blades - for an irrigation pump on a single property? Wow.
By zaz (197), East Hampton on Jul 16, 10 5:24 PM
1 member liked this comment
It will save this farm $2,000 a year in energy costs. That is a lot of energy. A windmill needs to be sizable in order to have an effect, that is just how it is. If we are going to transition we have to accept the currently available means. By the way, I was in Portugal and these things are everywhere and even the large ones do not make anywhere near as much noise as a "passing train".
By setyoufree (69), Sag Harbor on Jul 16, 10 5:49 PM
1 member liked this comment
I dare you to see it from a half a mile away. These are not utility scale wind towers. Those are 300' tall and big enough to drive through when lying down. When everyone on Long Island hands in their cell phones and we as a people then remove all cell towers you might have an argument. Actually I take that back. You won't. Adoption of alternative power resources will still be a better idea than burning anything.
By jfr (4), Loveland on Aug 17, 10 5:36 PM
In Europe they are every where. They look fine on hill tops and next to vineyards. Germany has them up and down the Rhine and Mein Rivers. It is amazing that the Repbulicans are the ones out front on this issue and the Dems, led by Deb Foster and Pete Hammerle, are trying to stop it. This really is an example of thinking global and acting local. One local initiative in East hampton will hopefully lead to another, and another, and another -- then you have something.
By formertbm (76), east hampton on Jul 16, 10 11:27 PM
1 member liked this comment
It's seems the oil lobby money is well spent; if this kind of thinking is representative of predominant American thinking, then the whores posing as public servants in Washington are representing no one but the oil companies who make massive campaign contributions to people who end up representing oil companies, not intelligent, environmentally responsible Americans; was there as much government resistance to deep water offshore oil drilling as there is to windmills? No? Gee, what a coincidence.
By realdeal (23), Southampton on Jul 17, 10 1:23 PM
A comprehensive plan for wind turbines? Come on Pete, get real. You voted no for the sake of opposing the Republicans. If you are going to try to separate yourself you should pick your spots a little better. The guy who wants your nomination in 2011 and your job in 2012, John Whelan, even got up and supported the turbine.
By formertbm (76), east hampton on Jul 17, 10 11:15 PM
East end democrats need to have another look at party platform and stop acting like republicans.
By setyoufree (69), Sag Harbor on Jul 18, 10 7:15 AM
East end democrats need to stop acting like republicans?? Are you kidding me?? The reverse is true. Look at the most recent east end democrats. Mcgintee, hamerlee, bishop, loewen, and foster. Great track record
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jul 18, 10 7:14 PM
Razaa, we all know your neocon leanings are to the right of Dick Armey, but there are those of us who believe in progressive ideals and politics and for us, many of the local politicians who call themselves democrats are nothing more than centrist republicans.
By setyoufree (69), Sag Harbor on Jul 19, 10 9:19 AM
If not Bishop, Hammerlee or Foster then just for laughs give me an example of who you consider a true "progressive" democrat.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jul 19, 10 10:04 AM
Where in my original post or follow up do I mention any of the politicians you just named? Where in the article are these politicians named? Like most teapartiers, you have this uncontrollable urge to make EVERYTHING about "liberals".
By setyoufree (69), Sag Harbor on Jul 19, 10 10:50 AM
Teabaggers unite.
By setyoufree (69), Sag Harbor on Jul 19, 10 5:06 PM
Without a coherent argument, it's no surprise you resort to childish (and vulgar) name calling.
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on Jul 19, 10 8:09 PM
RealityLast, The term "teabagger" emerged after tea party protesters themselves displayed placards using the words "tea bag" as a verb. "Teabag Washington", "Teabag Congress" The fact that they were not familiar with the alternate meaning is irrelevant. It is their own phrase.
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Jul 20, 10 2:14 PM
Let's look at the facts of this group of "middle American", anti-government folks and see what they are really all about (aside from glaring hypocrisy and bigotry)

1) 47% of Tea Partiers Pay No Federal Income Taxes! (the Atlantic)
2) seven in 10 tea party supporters describe themselves as "conservative Republicans." (the Washington Post)
3) 30% of teapartiers are birthers (CBS news)
4) According to this poll, 91% of Tea Partiers want a smaller government with fewer services. ...more
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Jul 21, 10 9:57 AM
LOL I love it. Another so called progressive lib fearing the Tea party. If it doesnt fit into your agenda do what you people always do attack it. what happened to dissent is patriotic
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jul 21, 10 2:30 PM
razza, not only do I NOT fear the teaparty, I welcome their continued visibility and their wingnut candidates. In fact, the teaparty has done more to help progressives than conservatives. Take for example the election in Nevada - were in not for Sharon Angle's candidacy, Harry Reid would not have had a chance but now he is ahead in the polls! The teaparty also helped get Scott Brown elected even though he is a a pro-choice Senator who has helped the democrats pass major financial reform and jobs ...more
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Jul 21, 10 2:56 PM
Then why attack them. Why don't you just shut your pie hole and let them help the lefties grand master plan of a perfect utopia
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jul 21, 10 9:01 PM
captn anti-America, Further proof - thanks!
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Jul 22, 10 3:18 PM
On the subject of Long Lane and being " green" and bringing EH up to date: with the 90 million dollar school expansion in full swing, why on this earth isn't East Hampton High School going solar?
By localwater (35), east hampton on Jul 19, 10 8:33 AM
Probably because they spent their last dime on that wonderful electric sign out front and are still involved in a multi million dollare lawsuit with sand pebble builders OR it could be that the town is BROKE
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jul 19, 10 10:00 AM
Gotta love the leftist, they want us all to go GREEN, but if it impacts there little lives they freak! Are you a GREEN fan or not?
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jul 19, 10 6:07 PM
Call me a green fan, without the caps, thanks. I think it's fine, windmills are a part of the history here, and this is just a contemporary version. No problem, and that includes my back yard. At the same time, even good stuff (like, say, the automobile) needs a little planning and a little regulation to make sure things don't get out of hand and people don't drive over other people. In that sense, I can understand if someone doesn't want to go ahead and just approve the first turbine without ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Jul 19, 10 9:12 PM
I liked setyoufree's and Turkeybridges comments right up to "Teabaggers Unite" (setyoufree) and the above about Hammerle's resistance to the approval. Reason being that both of these comments are emotional and have no basis in the facts. Pete Hammerle was invited to view and see and hear a windmill that is already built and functioning in Calverton to judge what the "nays" were saying about the noise etc, for himself. Please go to the Town's website to watch his response to the invitation "I ...more
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Jul 19, 10 10:32 PM
By the way - there is no such thing as "maternity leave" for Town Board members - she still has her views and can be reached by telephone -- no? Just a little more research from this newspaper - please.
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Jul 19, 10 10:36 PM
Call them whatever u like but they freed the slaves, they now started the green revolution on the east end and shortly their party is going to demolish u. If u think electing an indnoesian muslim was historic wait until you see how crippled you progressives are on november 3rd. Now go ahead and rage all u want. Ill be chuckling! Good for the republicans fighting for clean energy solutions!
By tuckahoetrip (46), Water Mill on Jul 21, 10 4:12 PM
Hah! Like I said . . .
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Jul 22, 10 3:17 PM
President has a higher favorability rating than both parties, Democrats a higher rating than Republicans and teapartiers below all of them. With candidates like Sharon Angle and party leaders like Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin, and Dick Armey, I am surprised anyone would even admit to being a teapartier. Don't tread on truth.
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Jul 24, 10 3:59 PM
Not sure how this article got onto such a bizarre dialogue. The bottom line is there should not be wind turbines on Long Lane -- one of the last remaining open farm areas within walking or really easy driving distance of EH Village. This could go somewhere else. I completely agree with Pete Hammerle -- there should be a plan in place before anything is OK'd.
By Casey22 (3), East Hampton on Jul 23, 10 10:30 PM
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Jul 24, 10 4:00 PM
In early 2010 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ruled that wind turbines 1 Megawatt (MW) and smaller, including all small wind turbines, no longer are required to file an application with the FERC in order to obtain classification as a Qualifying Facility (QF). This is expected to ease the process for small wind systems to benefit from applicable state/utility net metering programs. Too slowly, things like this are starting to get traction. It may more likely be WIND TURBINES REALLY ...more
By jfr (4), Loveland on Aug 17, 10 6:08 PM