FALL RIVER – Bristol Community College is planning to build a 300-foot-tall wind turbine at the north end of campus, which, the college says, could offset about one-fourth of its electric bill.
The turbine will be built along Route 24 north of the small pond, a site that was chosen after a year-long study of wind speeds and patterns to find the best spot. It is expected to produce 1.4 million kilowatts of energy annually, for a savings of up to $190,000 a year.
BCC has scheduled a public forum for Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth College Center cafeteria, At the forum, the public can hear details of the projects and offer input. College officials – and staff from the Department of Capital Asset Management, Clean Energy Council, the Department of Energy Resources, and the consulting acoustical engineer – will attend the forum.
BCC will also have a website, www.bristolcc.edu/wind, where updates to and documents on the project will be posted.
“Using fewer of the world’s limited resources just makes sense in the 21st century,” said John Sbrega, the BCC president. “We seek to be good stewards of public funds and to prepare our students for the new economy, and this installation will be a critical opportunity for us.”
In 2003, Sbrega was among the first college presidents to sign on to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, in which colleges pledge to take steps toward carbon neutrality – leaving, in effect, no impact on the environment.
Already, the college has installed solar panels on the roofs of three of its buildings, and, in the past four years, it has reduced electric and gas consumption by 25 percent, and water consumption by 35 percent.
The wind turbine is estimated to cost around $2.7 million and will be funded through grants and private funding, the college said. A bidding process should begin this fall, with manufacturing and installation of the turbine expected to take up to a year.
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