by Scott Higgins
Just shy of 300 feet and weighing in at 246 tons, MWCC’s wind turbines are the college’s most formidable green technology on campus. Since their activation in 2011, they have been a testament to the college’s dedication to clean and renewable energy production, a beacon for what the future of green energy in Massachusetts can look like. As a part of Governor Deval Patrick’s 2007 executive order “Leading by Example – Clean Energy and Efficient Buildings”, MWCC received $3.2 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, $2.1 million in low interest Renewable Energy Bond, and 3.7 million in bonds from Massachusetts Clean Energy Investments to undertake this project. The two turbines create 4,977,422 KWh of electricity, which equals approximately 134,000 in savings; combined with their biomass heating system and energy conservation measures, the turbines have decreased MWCC’s electrical consumption from 9 million kWh to 5 million kWh. This is a particularly impressive accomplishment given the expansion of the campus footprint and a 300% increase in the computers they provide for students. Next time you find yourself driving around Gardner and see those imposing white blades gliding through the air, I hope it inspires you to think about all the green technology MWCC has implemented over the years and where we can continue to innovate in our state, town, and daily lives.