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Wind turbines headed for Gardner college

Officials at Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner are awaiting delivery this week of a pair of wind turbines that they expect will eventually help net the college $600,000 a year while also providing the campus with most of its power.

The Vestas V82 wind turbines are part of a $9 million project funded with a $3.2 US Department of Energy grant, $2.1 million from a low-interest bond made available through last year’s federal stimulus law, and $3.7 million in Massachusetts Clean Energy Investment bonds.

College officials expect the project to produce nearly $1 million in annual revenue, to meet 97 percent of the college’s electricity needs, and to return about 30 percent of its power back to the electricity grid. Turbine parts are due to arrive from Canada in the next few days and installation is expected to be completed by late fall or early winter.

In 2002, Wachusett converted its all-electric main campus in Gardner to a biomass heating system, a move the college credits with cutting its carbon footprint by 24 percent.

Wachusett last year also installed solar power and solar thermal heating equipment.

In a statement, Daniel Asquino, college president, said Wachusett, with the wind turbines, will be “the most energy-independent college or university in New England.’’ JK Scanlan of East Falmouth has been awarded the contracts to install the turbines, which were made by Vestas of Denmark.