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The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) has installed two wind turbines at its Deer Island wastewater treatment plant. The Deer Island Wind consists of two 190-foot, 600 kW turbines.

The 2 million kWh of energy that is expected to be generated annually will be utilized on-site. This will save ratepayers $250,000 a year in energy costs, according to MWRA.

The Deer Island Treatment Plant currently uses renewable energy to self-generate 23% of its power needs on-site through a combination of a steam turbine generator fueled by digester gas, hydroelectric power generated as the treated water falls into the outfall tunnel, and solar energy. With the addition of these two turbines, Deer Island's self-generation will increase to 26%.

MWRA received a determination of no hazard from the Federal Aviation Administration in April 2008 for the wind turbines. The determination also allows for the installation of three additional wind turbines on Deer Island - one at time - after 30 days of successful operation of the previous turbine.

The design/build contract was awarded in October 2008 to Lumus Construction Inc., whose renewable energy division is now part of Solaya Energy. The $4 million project was funded in part by a $400,000 grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.

SOURCE: Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

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