DARTMOUTH – There could be more wind turbines rising in the future at UMass Dartmouth, outgoing Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack suggested at last week’s dedication ceremony for the first commercial wind turbine located on campus.
State and local officials gathered on campus last Tuesday to dedicate the 243-foot, 600KW wind turbine sitting in a clearing between Cedar Dell Pond and the center of campus, and hand out Green Campus Awards to university staffers and community members involved in sustainability and conservation projects.
The commercial-sized turbine off the ring road circling the North Dartmouth campus is not yet operational, but is projected to save the university up to $125,000 a year on its energy bills.
The turbine will remove the impact of 39 tons of coal from entering the environment each year, along with 1,161 pounds of sulfur dioxide, 489 pounds of nitrous oxide and 295 tons of carbon dioxide each year – all the contaminants or greenhouse gases generated by using fossil fuel power, according to university officials.
Care was taken to site the turbine on the southwest corner of the campus, far from neighboring properties north and west of the university grounds off Old Westport Road, Chancellor MacCormack noted in her remarks at the dedication.
Any future turbine installations at UMass Dartmouth could be undertaken despite a proposed zoning amendment banning commercial turbines in all but commercial and industrial zones, as the state property is not subject to local zoning regulations. The Dartmouth Planning Board conducted a public hearing on the zoning amendment last month; the article will be voted on at a future town meeting.
Last Tuesday, Chancellor MacCormack said she was proud of the many sustainability initiatives undertaken on campus during her tenure – and those projects that are still in the planning stages.
They ranged from solar panels on the Tripp Athletic Center and four dorm buildings, to the replacement of hundreds of lights, heating, venting and air conditioning units across campus to more energy-efficient models. A new co-generation power plant for heat and electricity is also in the works, to replace a 40 year-old oil-fired burner; the projected savings are over $1 million a year.
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