The Milton School Department is looking into constructing a wind turbine, possibly at Milton High School, but plans are very preliminary.
“˜”˜It’s exploratory and conceptual, right now,” school committee Chairman Paul Hogan said. “˜”˜There is some indication that the sites would work, but it would take a year or two to develop.”
Hogan said the committee has bandied the idea about for about six months, but the idea took a clear step forward when the board added a $1.2 million request to the capital planning committee for future consideration.
Milton is the latest community added to a growing list of South Shore towns that are following the lead of Hull, which has built two turbines along its windy shores.
Norwell voters will likely decide on a proposal to build six turbines that would power every home, business and public building. Kingston, Scituate and Weymouth are also considering projects.
Hogan said school officials are looking to apply for a grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative to build a turbine. The state agency is working with school officials to install solar panels on Collicot Elementary School, which is being reconstructed.
He warned that the enthusiasm for such a project has outpaced the school’s plans. “˜”˜It’s gotten ahead of where we are,” Hogan said.
There are a few places in town, Hogan said, that are pretty windy. The most obvious is atop the Blue Hills, but one other choice is at the high school.
“˜”˜I’m told it’s pretty windy there,” Hogan said.
As talk about the $1.2 million request works its way through town, school officials are researching the idea and if the collaborative has a grant to pay for a feasibility study.
Hogan said officials are also researching building a turbine with a new design, one shaped like a bell, instead of one with familiar blades. Hogan said there is plenty of time for suggestions and discussion about the idea. He said specifics, such as how big the turbine would be and how much power it would generate are too broad to answer yet.
Another option to pay for a wind turbine is to have a private developer build one and the town would share in the revenues.
“˜”˜There are a lot of things to look at,” Hogan said, “˜”˜starting with the environmental impact and neighborhood issues.”
Hull’s first windmill, erected about four years ago, cost the town $750,000 to build and powers a portion of the town’s street lights. It has also created more than $200,000 a year for the town in so-called green certificates that others use to pay the town to buy clean energy.
By L.E. Campenella
The Patriot Ledger
L.E. Campenella may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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