Celebrated by proponents, wind turbines also generated plenty of fury

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff/File

In January, it looked like it would be a banner year for wind energy, with three commercial turbines generating power in Kingston before the end of the month. By March, Scituate had a turbine up and running on town land, and Kingston saw a fourth industrial-size turbine called Independence come online a month later. A smaller unit was also whirring at the local rail station. But those spinning blades soon whipped up complaints from neighbors in both towns. Three of the Kingston turbines are now the subject of a court appeal, and owner Mary O’Donnell has put them up for sale. The state has agreed to study noise and flicker levels for Independence, and residents want that expanded to include all four large turbines. Scituate officials will conduct a similar study. Meanwhile, businessman Joe Balboni threw the switch on a 1.5-megawatt turbine in a Plymouth industrial park in November. That has not drawn any complaints to date. And Hanover’s 200-foot turbine near its water treatment plant should go online any day. Wind will remain a focus in 2013. Entrepreneur Keith Mann will start building four industrial turbines on his Plymouth bog by year end, and Milton officials hope to have settled their differences with a neighboring golf course so a long-planned town-owned turbine can begin spinning.

Christine Legere

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