Two Commercial-scale Wind Turbines Approved for Massachusetts

Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates received a grant of $575,000 from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) Renewable Energy Trust for the design and construction of two wind turbines at its world headquarters in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The proposed wind turbines could provide Varian with up to half of its electricity supply.

“Receiving the grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative will help us reduce our operating overhead while also protecting the regional environment by using a non-polluting renewable energy resource,” said Rick Johnson, Director of Facilities at Varian Semiconductor. “Varian is poised to become the first company in New England to harness such a large amount of wind power by installing two 1.5-megawatt (MW) turbines to meet half of its electricity needs during a time of rising energy prices,” said Renewable Energy Trust Director, Warren Leon. “With funding from the Trust, these wind turbines will help Varian remain competitive, while educating thousands of people about the economic and environmental benefits of clean energy.” In a feasibility study previously funded by the Trust, Boreal Renewable Energy Development of Arlington, Massachusetts, determined that the wind turbines were technically and economically justified for Varian headquarters. At a public meeting held in February, the project received significant community support. Varian is currently seeking approval from the City of Gloucester to install the two wind turbines. With approval, the company expects to begin the installation in late 2007 or early 2008. Gloucester Mayor John Bell noted that the area faces power quality issues, so local power generation benefits other electricity customers by helping to maintain grid reliability. “Varian’s innovation in meeting its energy needs enhances the whole City’s image for forward-thinking innovation. There are few wind projects in Massachusetts, so we will be positioned among the leaders in embracing this clean technology,” Bell added.
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