Patrick-Murray Administration Recognizes Cape Cod’s Wind Energy Leadership

Kicking off a week of activity to mark the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Ian Bowles today recognized Cape Cod for being the region of the Commonwealth that has most embraced clean, renewable wind power to meet its energy needs. The Cape currently has more wind turbines installed than any other area of Massachusetts, and more are on the way.

"Cape Codders live and work in one of the most unique and precious areas of the state, and their enthusiasm for clean energy is another expression of this region’s strong environmental ethic," Governor Deval Patrick said. "I am pleased to congratulate the Cape for stepping up as a leader in our efforts to expand wind power across Massachusetts."

With the town of Falmouth’s new 1.65 megawatt (MW) wind turbine as a backdrop, and joined by town officials and owners and developers of other Cape Cod wind farm projects, Secretary Bowles noted that, of the 21 wind turbines installed statewide, six are on the Cape – giving the region 28 percent of the Commonwealth’s installed wind power. Another two wind turbines are due to be up and running on the Cape this year, and nine more are proposed for operation in 2011 and 2012.

"From here in Falmouth – where four turbines totaling nearly eight megawatts will be installed by 2012 – to the Hyannis Country Garden in Hyannis and the Massachusetts Military Reservation in Bourne, the Cape is showing outstanding leadership as we pursue Governor Patrick’s goal of 2,000 megawatts of wind power by 2020," Secretary Bowles said. "By the end of this year, Massachusetts will have 10 times as much wind power installed as when the Governor took office – and the Cape and Islands are a big reason why."

Falmouth’s 1.65 MW Vestas V-82, the Commonwealth’s first utility scale municipal wind turbine, powers the town’s wastewater treatment plant, generating enough electricity to power the equivalent of approximately 500 homes per year and saving the town over $200,000 in fossil fuel costs. The town plans to install a second 1.65 MW wind turbine at the wastewater treatment facility this year.

"The town of Falmouth has made tremendous progress toward sustainable energy resources in Falmouth," said Mary Pat Flynn, Chairman of the Board of Selectmen. "Our achievements are due in large part to our vision and commitment to long range planning through our Climate Protection Action Plan. Our wind turbine is not only our crowning achievement, but a catalyst toward future energy and fiscal sustainability. We are absolutely delighted with our wind turbine, which in its first 11 hours of operation reached its peak production capacity and generated enough energy to power 810 American homes for one day. It seems we have wonderful resource, a great site and very good machine."

Other Cape and Island wind turbines are installed at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Bourne, the Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment (AFCEE) at the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR) in Bourne, Hyannis Country Garden in Hyannis, Bartlett’s Ocean View Farm in Nantucket and Woods Hole Research Center in Woods Hole. In addition to the second Falmouth municipal turbine, NOTUS Clean Energy in Falmouth also plans to install a turbine this year.

Proposed for 2011 and 2012 are two more wind turbines at AFCEE in Bourne, two at Cape & Vineyard Electric Cooperative in Brewster, two at Cape & Vineyard Electric Cooperative in Harwich, two at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Falmouth and one at Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School in Bourne. (See chart below.) All these installations will bring the Cape’s total wind-energy generating capacity to about 20.5 MW, enough to power over 4,800 homes.

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has provided over $4.8 million in grants and other financing for Cape Cod wind installations in operation now and proposed for installation by 2012. Included in this total is over $1.2 million for the Falmouth Wastewater Treatment Facility project – $235,000 in grants and an over $1 million commitment to help finance the turbine by purchasing renewable energy certificates generated by the project.