It's been 12 years since Fairhaven's wind turbines were constructed behind the town's wastewater treatment plant on Arsene Street. There's no doubt about it: The turbines were met with much resistance from nearby residents.

The main concerns were over potential noise; flicker, the effect created by the sun shining through rotating blades; and yet unknown effects the relatively new technology might have on neighbors' long-term health.

Town officials on the other side of the coin hoped to invest in a growing industry and secure affordable, clean energy for the town in the years to come. Fairhaven was betting that energy costs would increase, making the energy produced by the turbines even more valuable.

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How do you think the turbines have been working out? Have they met, exceeded or fallen short of your expectations?

According to the project's website, the Town of Fairhaven entered into a 20-year agreement with Fairhaven Wind, owner of the turbines, to lease town property and purchase 100% of the power from turbines.

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The town receives lease payments, property taxes and power at a lower rate than if Eversource continued to provide electricity to the town.

The turbines were officially activated in May 2012. Twelve years in, here is some data to help assess how the turbines are doing.

How Much Energy Are Fairhaven Turbines Producing?

Initially, the two turbines were expected to produce 7.2 million kWH of electricity each year.  ​This is equivalent to providing electricity for 678 homes each year.

According to Fairhaven Wind's website, the two turbines have never produced the expected 7.2 kWH of electricity in any given year. The numbers on their site suggest a decline in production over the past two to three years as the turbines age.

How Are Fairhaven Turbines Performing Financially?

How much is the Town of Fairhaven getting paid for the land it is leasing to the wind turbines? According to town records, Fairhaven makes $100,000 per year on the lease, itself. The town also makes revenue from the production from the wind turbines.

The wind turbines have raised an average of roughly $250,000 a year over the past 12 years, however, that number has spiked significantly over the past 18 months with revenue of over $400,000 in 2023 and already $256,000 in the first quarter of 2024.  The turbines are on pace to earn over $1 million in 2024.

Between the land lease and the revenue from the turbines, the town has earned $3.8 million since the turbines began spinning. Fairhaven Wind has earned $7.4 million.

Eight years are left on the Town of Fairhaven's lease with Fairhaven Wind.

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