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The Secretaries of the Executive Office of Transportation and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) have announced a project to install a utility-scale wind turbine on state land adjacent to the Massachusetts Turnpike's Blandford Rest Area.

Following studies showing significant wind power potential, the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority (MTA) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to install wind power at the 68-acre site in the western part of the state.

"Our transportation system should be acting responsibly to promote clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions wherever possible," says Transportation Secretary James Aloisi. "We want our highways and roads to be as green as they can be, and a wind turbine on the Turnpike at Blandford will be an important statement about the commonwealth's commitment to clean energy."

Studies completed in January by the University of Massachusetts Renewable Energy Research Laboratory concluded that the Hampden County location - the highest elevation on the turnpike - has wind resources sufficient to support a 1.5 MW wind turbine, which could produce up to 3,000 MWh of electricity annually.

At Blandford, the selected proposal would develop a wind turbine installation on the site and sell the output to the Western Massachusetts Electric Co. or another retail electricity provider.

Under terms of the RFP, the MTA would provide the successful developer with a long-term lease on land adjacent to the Blandford rest area. It directs the selected developer to work closely with the MTA, EEA, the Massachusetts' Renewable Energy Trust, and other local, state and federal agencies.

The project would be subject to local zoning and must comply with all environmental permitting and other regulatory requirements. Proposals are due June 30.

For more information, visit mass.gov.

SOURCE: Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs



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