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Wind turbine to be installed at Kingston MBTA station starting next month  

The MBTA isn’t required by state law to seek approval from the town for installation of the wind turbine, although Town Planner Tom Bott said he has spoken in the past with MBTA Director of Environmental Affairs Andrew Brennan about holding an informational meeting in town. One has not been scheduled.

Credit:  By Kathryn Koch, Wicked Local Kingston, www.wickedlocal.com 23 August 2011 ~~

KINGSTON – A 100-kilowatt wind turbine will be installed on the north side of the commuter rail tracks by SPS New England, the Massachusetts Bay Transition Authority announced late last week.

Construction will begin next month, MBTA General Manager Richard Davey said. Eight companies submitted bids for the project, and SPS New England offered the lowest bid at $334,334.50. The project is being funded with federal stimulus funds.

When operational, the 120-foot-tall wind turbine with 35-foot-long blades is expected to generate enough energy to cover 65 percent of Kingston Station’s power needs. The turbine will power parking lot and platform lighting and plug-ins for locomotives.

A 300-kilowatt wind turbine is planned for the MBTA’s commuter rail station in Bridgewater next year.

“It’s estimated that these turbines will save the MBTA about $100,000 annually in electricity costs,” Davey said.

The MBTA isn’t required by state law to seek approval from the town for installation of the wind turbine, although Town Planner Tom Bott said he has spoken in the past with MBTA Director of Environmental Affairs Andrew Brennan about holding an informational meeting in town. One has not been scheduled.

While the town does not directly benefit, Bott said supporters of renewable energy sources are sure to be pleased with the MBTA’s plan.

“I think it’s a fine idea,” he said. “We’re saving the environment one wind turbine at a time.”

The town has entered into lease agreements for a wind turbine and a solar array project on the town’s capped landfill to two private developers as well as power purchase agreements for the town to buy electricity from the developers and for the town to sell any excess back to the grid. Both projects are expected to break ground soon.

The T turbine will be located between the maintenance and substation structures at the commuter rail layover facility. Davey said the project should be completed before the end of the year.

A U.S. Department of Transportation TIGGER grant supporting use of cutting-edge environmental technologies is funding the turbines.

Bott said he has recently been in contact with Brennan to discuss the siting of an electric vehicle charging station at the commuter rail station in Kingston. The town has received a $2,000 grant through a public-private partnership for two charging stations, with the other to be located at the Indepencence Mall.

Source:  By Kathryn Koch, Wicked Local Kingston, www.wickedlocal.com 23 August 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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