Deal Boosts Massachusetts Wind Power

Community Energy, (CEI) announced a twenty year agreement with Princeton Municipal Light Department to build and operate two 1.5 MW wind turbines at an existing wind energy site in Worcester County, Massachusetts.

Princeton, Massachusetts – July 3, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Under this agreement, Community Energy will own and operate the wind turbines and sell all of the power produced to the Municipal Light Department to serve about 40 percent of the annual requirements of town residents. Under the terms of the power purchase agreement and land lease, the town will receive significant lease payments and stabilize a major portion of their power supply costs well into the future. Community Energy will retain ninety percent of the new wind energy certificates produced by the project to support efforts to bring NewWind Energy green tags to consumers in Massachusetts. “Based on our experience in the Mid-Atlantic, we expect this initial project to catalyze development of 150 MW of wind power in New England over the next two years,” said Eric Blank, Executive Vice President of CEI. With this decision, CEI and Princeton will repower the first and oldest commercial wind farm in the East, built in 1984, with current state-of-the-art wind turbine technology. The new wind turbines will produce 40 times the electricity of the aging, existing wind farm. By displacing existing power plant operation, the windmills will avoid emissions each year of 11 million pounds of CO2 – the predominant greenhouse gas, almost 50,000 pounds of SO2 – the primary constituent of acid rain, and 14,000 pounds of NOx – a major contributor to smog formation. These reductions are the equivalent of taking 1,000 cars off the road each year. The Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust Fund (MTC) played a critical role from the early stages of project development by providing CEI with a loan as part of its Green Power Predevelopment Financing Initiative. “The MTC plays an essential role in making the state’s vision of building new, clean energy projects a reality,” Blank said. Princeton residents were also an integral part of the project by supporting it by a three to one margin in a non-binding referendum held in February of this year. “The new wind project will greatly expand Princeton’s commitment to clean renewable energy and illustrates the importance of community support for renewable energy,” said Jonathan Fitch, Manager of the Princeton Municipal Light Department.
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