LYNN – Giant wind turbine blades begin revolving over Lynn’s waterfront sometime in 2012.
The Water and Sewer Commission is advertising for contractors for the project after nearly seven years of planning and looking for money to pay for it.
The bid submission deadline is Feb. 3, and Water and Sewer waste treatment operations Director Robert Tina expects contractors hoping to land a large construction project to bid less than the budgeted amount.
The Commission is spending $2.3 million on the turbine with a quarter of the cost paid for with a state grant and the rest covered by a low-interest state loan. Tina expects the turbine construction to start early next spring and the specified contract time is 552 days.
The turbine’s construction involves digging a deep foundation on the turbine site next to the Commercial Street waste treatment plant and pouring the foundation before the turbine tower is built.
Tina said the turbine tower will roughly match the height of the new power transmission towers built during the past year along the Lynnway.
The turbine’s height from the tip of one of its blades at its highest rotation point to the ground will measure 254 feet.
The turbine and its giant blades will convert wind energy into electricity that will be used solely by Water and Sewer, resulting in substantial savings.
Wind turbines are cropping up across the state.
A Somerville developer built a turbine in a former Chelsea industrial park three years ago.
City Planning Director John DePriest said electricity generated by the turbine provides power to residences the developer is building.
DePriest said Chelsea residents living near the turbine site raised concerns during its construction about noise and potential cellular telephone and television reception problems.
“Some of that concern has dwindled, but community-wide, people see it as beneficial to the city,” he said.
DePriest lives in Medford, where a turbine smaller than the one proposed by Water and Sewer was built three years ago.
“I look out my back door and see it. I think it’s great,” he said.
Saugus’ Alternative Energy Committee is examining the merits of erecting three 2-megawatt turbines along an abandoned highway bed paralleling Route 107.
DePriest said the Chelsea and Medford turbines are included in local public school curriculums and Tina said state funding requirements for Lynn’s turbine include making the modern windmill available for educational tours.
North Shore Community College spokeswoman Linda Brantley said college administrators “are open to listening to ideas” about taking advantage of the turbine’s proximity to North Shore’s Lynnway campus to educate students about “green” technology but said, “There have been no conversations on a potential partnership,” she said.
The campus includes a large piece of open land along Washington Street, known as the Landmark site, that has been eyed as expansion land for the college. Brantley said a study on the site’s future uses is in “the very early stages.”
“To say what may or may not happen there would be really premature,” she said.
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