Holbrook – A wind turbine could be used to provide power for the operation of a water treatment plant for Braintree, Holbrook, and Randolph.
This plant would replace two outdated plants: one used by Braintree and the other used by Holbrook and Randolph. The Holbrook-Randolph treatment plant dates back to 1888.
A study conducted in 2004 found significant deficiencies in both plants and concluded that a new regional facility was the best option for the future.
The state House of Representatives unanimously approved on July 24 an environmental bond bill that includes $1.5 million for the construction of a wind turbine in Braintree that would provide power for the regional water treatment plant to be built along the Great Pond reservoir.
The Tri-Town board of water commissioners is going forward with plans to build a state-of-the-art treatment plant that would serve Braintree, Holbrook, and Randolph. All three communities have approved money for their shares of the cost to design this plant.
While design cost alone represents a significant investment for these towns, the actual construction will be costly, and a wind turbine would provide enough power to help offset the energy cost of running the plant.
The environmental bond bill approved by the House, which authorizes borrowing for environmental needs and projects across Massachusetts, was sent to the state Senate for approval.
State Rep. Joseph Driscoll (D-Braintree), who also represents Precinct 1 in Holbrook and Precinct 3 in Randolph, pointed out that towns, like consumers, are struggling with the rising cost of energy.
“During these difficult times, innovative approaches are called for,” Driscoll said. “Our strategy is to use a wind turbine to power the water plant, make use of this alternate power source, and provide drinking water to our region.”
He added, “One of our greatest assets in the area is our own reservoir and water system. This resource provides residents in our three-town system with drinking water at a low cost. We are at a point where we need to reinvest in it and make use of new technologies such as wind power. Using our state’s bonding capacity will ensure that good water at low cost will be available well into the future.”
Others who worked to secure the money were legislators who represent portions of the three towns: Rep. Ronald Mariano (D-Quincy), Rep. Bruce Ayers (D-Quincy), and Rep. Walter Timilty (D-Milton).
Mariano represents Precincts 2 through 4 in Holbrook; Ayers represents Precincts 5 and 6 in Randolph; and Timilty represents Precincts 1 and 2, 4, and 7 and 8 in Randolph.
“The Environmental Bond Bill is an ideal place to fund this project,” Mariano said. “This funding will allow Braintree, Holbrook, and Randolph to invest in technology that will result in big savings down the road.”
Ayers and Timilty supported the measure as a blend of smart technology and prudent fiscal management.
“Using wind power instead of oil and gas will reduce operating costs for the treatment plant,” Ayers said.
According to Timlty, the use of wind power also helps the environment.
“From an environmental standpoint, the technology is at a point where it is reliable, efficient, and beneficial to our natural resources,” he said.
P. J. Foley of Local 2222 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, who has advocated for wind turbines in Hull and Quincy, also supported the proposal.
“This project will use new technology, keep costs down, and create good jobs,” he said.
Material from GateHouse News Service was used in this story.
By Robert Aicardi
29 July 2008
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