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Massachusetts funds wind projects

Wind power fared well in the latest clean energy funding round from the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust (MRET). Grants totalling $3.2 million for nine projects included funding for four small, utility scale wind projects in Massachusetts. The largest of the projects is at the Upper Cape Regional Technical High School, where MRET will provide $400,000 to help the school install a 2 MW wind turbine to offset its electricity needs. The school is located in Bourne, at the beginning of the windy Cape Cod peninsula. Farther out on that stretch of land is the Aquacultural Research Corporation (ARC), which also received a grant of $400,000 to help it install a 600 kW turbine. ARC is a shellfish cultivator and wholesaler with a large electricity demand. A third seaside location received a grant for an on-site turbine. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is working to install a 100 kW wind turbine at the Kingston Commuter Rail Layover Facility in Kingston, to help offset rising utility costs. The last wind turbine grant is for a project 275 kilometres west in the mountainous Berkshire region of Massachusetts. MRET approved a $400,000 grant to the Berkshire East Ski Resort, which is working with Sustainable Energy Developments Inc (SEDI) to design and construct a 600 kW wind turbine on the resort's property. The ski area says it needs a way to offset the substantial electric power needed on-site to power its snowmaking operations. This would not be the first utility-scale wind plant for a Massachusetts ski area. In the fall of 2007, the Jiminy Peak ski resort, also in the Berkshires, contracted SEDI to install a single GE 1.5 MW turbine at the top of the ski area. All MRET grants are funded through a small surcharge on consumer electricity bills in Massachusetts.

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