SCITUATE – The town has made more than a half-million dollars in less than three years through its agreement with Scituate Wind LLC, owner of the wind turbine on the Driftway.
As of the most recent billing period, the town has collected more than $500,000 since the 390-foot-tall wind turbine went online in April of 2012, Gordon Deane, manager for Scituate Wind, announced Tuesday.
While the town pays Scituate Wind for all of the electricity the turbine produces, it receives net metering credits from National Grid for that power. The renewable-energy certificates associated with the turbine project are sold to the Massachusetts Energy Consumers Alliance, allowing output from the turbine to be accounted for locally.
In addition to the benefits from energy-cost savings, the town has received more than $75,000 in property taxes from Scituate Wind.
Scituate Town Administrator Patricia Vinchesi said in a statement that the turbine has provided additional revenue to offset increased operating costs and to subsidize part of the debt for the new middle school and public-safety complex.
The turbine and a large solar array on the closed landfill made Scituate the first community in the state to power all of its town operations with renewable energy. As a result, the town has received more than $252,000 in grants from the state for other energy initiatives.
The agreement also insulates the town from spikes in electrical rates, which Deane said have increased more than 170 percent since the turbine first went online less than three years ago.
The turbine has faced several mechanical issues and has been offline for more than a 100 days in this operational year, which runs from April 1 to March 31.
“While the project has faced operational challenges, Scituate Wind is working with its operations provider to implement a multi-step equipment and software improvement plan to increase available operating hours and annual production,” Deane said in a statement. “Scituate Wind is optimistic that these upgrades will provide increased benefits to the town going forward.”
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