Wind energy development has been very active in Northern Worcester County – two turbines in Princeton, four in Gardner, and another turbine in Templeton, all adding up to almost 8 MW of clean, renewable wind energy! Leadership, perseverance, and vision have been driving this movement – local institutions like Mount Wachusett Community College (MWCC) and Narragansett Regional-Middle High School have recognized the benefits of wind energy: stable electricity prices, local economic development, and a better environment. This week, I celebrated the most recent addition to the Northern Worcester County wind energy family – two 1.65 MW Vestas V82 turbines that MWCC installed on its campus.
This project embodies the spirit of Governor Patrick’s Executive Order 484 which led to the creation of The Leading By Example Program (LBE). Governor Patrick signed EO 484 in April 2007 and the order calls for reducing energy use by 20 percent per square foot and greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent total, while increasing state facilities’ use of renewable energy technologies to 15 percent, all by 2012. LBE is in keeping with the Commonwealth’s commitment to remain a global leader in clean energy, both in policy and in practice. We have made significant progress on clean energy and energy efficiency at college campuses, state hospitals and prisons, Logan Airport and the MWRA’s water treatment facilities, and state office buildings across the state.
MWCC has gone above and beyond our ambitious LBE targets, and is approaching energy independence with the commissioning of these two turbines. From the two new turbines to a 97 kilowatt solar array to the college’s biomass heating system and energy efficiency improvements that have triggered dramatic campus-wide energy savings, Mt. Wachusett will generate approximately 97 percent of its energy on campus. These investments have made MWCC less dependent on fossil fuels prone to price volatility and a national leader in the fight against climate change. MWCC is a window into our clean energy future – jobs, economic development, energy security, environmental protection, and public health. All happening right here, in Massachusetts.