The McGlynn School wind turbine, pictured at left, had its blades installed on Friday. Medford Environmental Agent Patty Barry is pictured with the turbine. Photo courtesy Susan Altman.
City’s First Wind Turbine Constructed
Story Updated 4:51PM, Thursday, January 29, 2009
- Allison Goldsberry
After three years of planning, Medford’s first wind turbine was unveiled during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, January 29, at 10:30AM.
The turbine, located at the McGlynn School complex, will stand 131 feet tall with 33-foot blades that will spin around 12 miles per hour. The project is expected to generate 170,000 Kilowatt hours per year, or about 10% of the school’s electricity. That’s a savings of $25,000 to the city and an estimated 76 tons of carbon dioxide to the environment.
It is also the first commercial-scale wind turbine to be installed at a public school in Massachusetts.
Mayor Michael McGlynn, speaking at a School Committee meeting last year, said he supports the project because it is environmentally-sound, saves tax-payers money, and gives students the opportunity to learn about renewable energy sources.
“This is a very exciting project,” said McGlynn.
According to Medford Environmental Agent Patty Barry, “SMARTVIEW” computer software will collect data from the wind turbine so students can see exactly how much electricity it’s generating.
“In addition to energy savings, the wind turbine will serve as a valuable education tool for our school children, as well as continue Medford’s outstanding commitment to energy independence,” said Mayor McGlynn.
“It is our hope that through this project we will provide a means for students and citizens to become involved in more sustainable measures, practices and thinking so that we will all be able to work together to create a cleaner, greener more sustainable Medford for our generation and those to follow,” said Barry.
The wind turbine is about 150 feet from the playground and 200 feet from the river. According to project consultant Sustainable Energy Development, Inc. the turbine will be no louder than a normal conversation even if it reaches speeds of thirty miles per hour.
The City Council approved a $600,000 loan order in July for construction of the turbine.
Medford has received $250,000 from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and is hoping to cover the rest of the cost of the project with public and private grants. The total project cost is $634,155 with interest on the loan.
Barry said the maintenance costs of the turbine will also be covered by grants, such as the Clean Energy Choice Grant the city receives every year.