CAMP EDWARDS – The Army’s groundwater study program is looking to the skies to help power its water cleanup efforts.
Army officials want to install up to six wind turbines around Camp Edwards to provide energy for the cleanup around the training grounds. The turbines, which would range in size and location, could offset up to 50 percent of cleanup energy costs, according to Kristina Curley, a spokeswoman for the Army Environmental Command Impact Area Groundwater Study Program.
Since 1997, the Groundwater Study Program has treated more than 50,000 tons of soil and more than 500 million gallons of groundwater around Camp Edwards. The program continues to treat 2.2 million gallons of water each day.
The base sits atop the Cape’s sole-source aquifer.
“We’re trying to clean up contamination, but the very systems that we use to clean it up create more,” Curley said. “It becomes sort of diminishing returns. … We’re trying to put a stop to that.”
In recent weeks, groundwater program officials have approached neighboring towns, other base organizations and state and federal environmental agencies, among other groups, to determine the best size and location.
The turbines, which could range in capacity from 100 kilowatts to 250 kilowatts, would be sited at three locations in the southeast corner of Camp Edwards, Curley said.
Army officials are hoping to decide on locations and complete the project review in the coming weeks, with hopes of installing the turbines by the end of the year.
But the Air Force is hoping to beat them to the finish.
The Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment is ready to start work on a 1,500-kilowatt turbine of its own on the base’s southwest corner to aid in its cleanup efforts.
Construction workers are hoping to begin installation of the foundation next month, according to Rose Forbes, project manager for the Air Force Center. Once completed, the turbine should absorb about 30 percent of the $2.2 million energy costs for the cleanup, she said.
“It obviously makes a lot of sense,” Ed Coletta, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, said of the wind turbines.
“This is the type of application that we look for as we try to reduce our carbon footprint. … We haven’t seen too many of these types of applications yet.”
By Jake Berry
18 April 2008
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