On Thursday, Commissioner Tom Paras, PMLP Manager Bill Waters, PMLP Assistant Manager Glen Trueira, and PMLP Commissioner Bob Wheatley attended the dedication of the Berkshire Wind Project atop Brodie Mountain in Hancock, Massachusetts.
They joined Governor Deval Patrick and other public officials and members of the Berkshire Wind Power Cooperative in dedicating this public power project, the largest wind generation facility in Massachusetts. Members of the Cooperative include 14 Massachusetts municipal utilities, including PLMP, which is also the largest participant, and the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company.
Located in Hancock and Lanesborough, Berkshire Wind turbines were installed in 2009 and 2010.
"This project marks a new era of renewable energy development in Massachusetts today," Governor Patrick said. "Creating scores of jobs in its construction, helping to create relief from the price volatility and pollution of imported fossil fuels, and advancing Massachusetts' nation-leading goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the use of renewable energy, Berkshire Wind is a beacon of our clean-energy future."
The wind farm takes advantage of wind resources along the ridgeline of Brodie Mountain with 10 General Electric 1.5-megawatt turbines.
The project is owned by the Berkshire Wind Power Cooperative Corp., a cooperative of 15 nonprofit public power entities, including the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Co. and 14 consumer-owned municipal utilities that provide electricity to Ashburnham, Boylston, Groton, Holden, Hull Ipswich, Marblehead, Paxton, Peabody, Shrewsbury, Sterling, Templeton, Wakefield and West Boylston.
Richard K. Sullivan Jr., secretary of Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs, said the wind project is a historical achievement.
"Congratulations to Berkshire Wind, which makes history today by officially becoming the commonwealth's first on-shore wind farm," he said. "Through this project, and numerous other smaller wind projects across the state, we are making steady progress toward Gov. Patrick's goal to install 2,000 megawatts of wind power in Massachusetts by 2020."
H. Bradford White, president of the Berkshire Wind cooperative, said the effort to harness wind energy was a response to their customers' need for renewable energy.
Figures provided by the Berkshire Wind Cooperative show that the wind farm will produce more than 52,500 megawatt hours of electricity annually, enough to power 6,000 homes, and will offset production of 612,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide and the use of 1.7 million barrels of oil.
This project will help Peabody to diversify our power supplies and stabilize costs over the long term by reducing reliance of fossil fuels.
Peabody Municipal Light, being the largest participant, will receive the largest share of project output.
Submitted by Tom Paras, commissioner, Peabody Municipal Light Plant.