Bank of Canton is one step closer to lowering its carbon footprint after setting up a 160-foot, wind-measuring meteorological tower in the parking lot of its headquarters.
The tower, installed earlier this month, is the key component of a feasibility study designed to see over the next eight months if there is enough wind at 490 Turnpike St. in Canton to power a turbine that could put a significant dent in the bank’s energy usage. The project was funded by a $40,000 grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.
Bank CEO Jim Egan said the project is his company’s way of saving money, saving the environment and giving back to the community.
“We use a significant amount of electricity here,” Egan said. “We might be able to save 30 to 40 percent on our electricity consumption, which would lower the demand for the entire area.”
Tyler Leeds, a project manager with the state’s Renewable Energy Trust, which is overseen by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, said Bank of Canton is one of the first banks in the state to express interest in reducing its electricity consumption through renewable energy initiatives.
“The financial sector has been less interested at this point,” he said, noting the manufacturing sector has shown the most interest thus far. Bank of Canton was one of roughly 60 applicants for the renewable energy systems grant last fall, Leeds said. About 35 were awarded grants.
Egan said he got the idea for the turbine after driving past the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 103 headquarters, which is off the Southeast Expressway in Dorchester. The IBEW installed a 150-foot turbine in 2005.
The bank’s test tower is slated to be up through December. If the bank finds wind conditions to be ideal, Leeds said the bank can apply for up to $400,000 in grant money to design and construct a turbine.
Egan said he expects the feasibility study to have a positive result, and said he does not anticipate any problems obtaining a permit from the town for the turbine.
“It’s going to be very environmentally friendly and not obtrusive,” Egan said. “It won’t affect the landscape at all. I don’t know of any neighbors that will have any complaints.”
By A.J. Bauer
28 April 2008
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