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Worcester group floats wind farm plan; mayor is cool to converting airport  

Worcester plans to purchase 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2010, but local activists have another idea: Turn the city’s moribund airport into a wind farm.

It may be one of the few places where wind turbines wouldn’t stir controversy for their appearance. And a wind farm “won’t make as much noise as an airport and none of the wind turbines will crash,” said Larry LaVerdure of Sustainable Worcester, the group that proposed the idea.

The Worcester Municipal Airport, run by Massport, has bled money for years and lost its only commercial passenger airline in October.

But political winds don’t favor the wind farm.

“That’s unlikely,” Mayor Konstantina B. Lukes said yesterday.

The city has received about $30 million in loans and grants to rehabilitate the airport, a debt that is “not likely to be forgiven,” Lukes said.

Private and corporate jets use the airport for about 65,000 flights a year, according to the city’s airport liaison, Phil Niddrie.

Lukes said she hopes the airport will land a new commercial carrier by June.

As for wind power, both the city and the College of the Holy Cross are considering plans to build wind turbines. And Holy Name High School, a parochial school in the city, recently finalized a plan to build a turbine on its Granite Street campus.

By Megan Woolhouse

boston.com

5 March 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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