September 26, 2010

CBA is updated on First Wind proposal

by Rich Hosford, Stonebridge Press & Villager Newspapers, 26 September 2010

STURBRIDGE – The project manager of a controversial wind energy project in Brimfield met with a local business association last week to discuss the financial benefits of the project to the town and the local economy.

David Velez, of First Wind in Boston, gave a short presentation Friday, Sept. 24, on the project to the Community Business Associates (CBA), a group of local business people that meets twice a month to network and discuss business-related related issues. As a group, CBA is not involved in the wind project, explained member Bob Datz, of daztmedia. The meeting was meant to be educational for its members.

The project First Wind is proposing is to install eight to 10 wind turbines, producing up to 30 megawatts of electricity, on West Mountain, just north of Route 20. The wind turbines will be roughly 400 feet tall from the base to the tip of the blades.

Wind power from the proposed facility would connect to the New England electrical grid and direct power to homes in Massachusetts and New England. First Wind would develop the site, build the turbines and maintain control and ownership of the turbines.

Velez said the project would have many economic benefits. In broad terms the wind project would provide a source of energy not reliant on fossil fuels, which are subject to price fluctuations. It would also help meet growing energy needs.

“Anyone who buys energy knows the costs change,” he said. “Fluctuation is the most troubling thing for businesses. Wind energy provides a hedge against oil price volatility.”

For more on this story, please see tomorrow’s Southbridge Evening News.

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