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Mount poised to gauge wind energy possibilities  

GARDNER [MA] -- Mount Wachusett Community College is poised to receive $1 million in federal money to conduct tests on whether wind could be used to generate energy for local residents.

Congressman John W. Olver, D-Amherst, announced last week that the U.S. House of Representatives approved the funding, which is included in the fiscal year 2006 Energy and Water Appropriations conference report.

“Wind technology holds great promise as a local, renewable form of energy,” Olver said in a press release. “This demonstration project will show how wind energy will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, increase national security and encourage local economic development.”

The specifics of the project have yet to be determined, but MWCC President Daniel Asquino said that within a year he hopes the college can erect a tower to begin testing wind speeds.

“We’re at the highest point of habitable elevation in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” he said Monday. “I think it’s ideal.”

The school offers a natural resource technology program, and the tower could be accessible to students, Asquino said.

The wind project’s results would help demonstrate whether wind projects could work in this area, according to the press release.

The Senate has yet to approve the conference report, but they are expected to do so, according to the press release. After that, it will go to President George W. Bush’s desk for his signature.


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