DARTMOUTH – UMass Dartmouth has announced it will go forward with plans to build a 600-kilowatt wind turbine, the first one in the UMass system.
The campus had previously announced its intentions and held a public meeting in November on the proposal. After providing time for feedback, officials are moving ahead with the wind turbine, which will annually produce the same amount of energy as burning about 39 tons of coal, university officials said.
Construction is expected to begin this spring.
“We expect to be up and running by fall,” UMD spokesman John Hoey said.
The turbine will be located just off the campus’ Ring Road, about 2,500 feet from Alden Avenue and 1,500 feet from Old Westport Road. At 243 feet, it will be 12 feet shorter than the campus’ bell tower. When ground elevation is considered, the turbine will be about 30 feet shorter than the bell tower, according to the university’s announcement.
The turbine is expected to eliminate the emission of 1,161 pounds of sulfur dioxide and 489 pounds of nitrous oxide, and reduce emission of 295 tons of carbon dioxide annually.
The project is part of a $35 million plan developed in cooperation with the state Division of Capital Asset Management and the Department of Energy Resources to modernize UMass Dartmouth’s power systems. Other projects include installation of a high-efficiency co-generation plant, which would produce heat and electricity, and installation of solar panels on residence halls and athletic center roofs, according to the university.
The overall initiative will take 18 months to two years, and energy savings will cover the costs of the projects, Hoey said.
“Universities have a responsibility to lead on the big issues of the day, and modernizing our energy systems – along with our many other green activities – will be a dramatic indicator of our commitment to sustainability,” UMD Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack said in a statement.
“UMass Dartmouth is leading the way on the SouthCoast by pursuing a coordinated approach to becoming a clean energy campus,” said Mark Sylvia, commissioner of the Department of Energy Resources, in a statement. “With this wind project, the university is continuing to integrate renewables into its campus-wide sustainability efforts.”
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