MILFORD, Mass. - The Massachusetts National Guard filed a site plan today with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Air Force Space Command for review of 17 possible sites to locate wind turbines at the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR) on Cape Cod, an ambitious project that could possibly provide power to the entire facility.
The wind turbine initiative reflects the commitment of both the state and the US military to increase the use of clean energy and achieve a greater level of energy independence.
The concept of MMR wind is a collaborative effort between the Guard, the Patrick Administration, State Senate President Therese Murray and Rep. William Delahunt of Massachusetts and has wide support among other elected officials.
"This filing represents an important initiative that will make MMR a national model for clean energy development on military facilities at the same time that it contributes to our state wind power goals," said Gov. Deval Patrick. "I commend the base leadership for their foresightedness and their commitment to a clean energy future for the US military and the Commonwealth."
"Putting wind turbines at MMR makes sense both economically and environmentally," said Senate President Therese Murray. "While we are just in the initial stages of this project, the goal is to attract new missions by lowering utility costs and thus reducing MMR's carbon footprint. If we are able to reach that goal, it will be a tremendous benefit to the communities surrounding the base and Cape Cod as a whole."
"I believe that we must explore all our options in helping the National Guard and Coast Guard develop renewable energy on the base," said Rep. Bill Delahunt. "Within the next few years, we will not only make the base energy independent, but we will make it a model for installations around the country."
The National Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard, both located at the MMR, have worked with the state's Executive Offices of Public Safety and Security and Energy and Environmental Affairs on the renewable energy initiative, which supports Governor Patrick's goal of 2,000 megawatts of wind power statewide by 2020.
"This is the first step in a long process that could make one of our major military facilities energy self sufficient," said Public Safety Secretary Kevin M. Burke. "We are all bound by duty to reduce the size of our carbon footprint for the good of the state, nation and world."
"This plan is a significant contribution toward Governor Patrick's ambitious goals for wind energy," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles. "My office stands ready to help base leadership bring clean, renewable power to the base and to the most promising parcel of state-owned land for wind power in the eastern half of the Commonwealth."
The military, state agencies and Senate President Murray's office have been meeting since late last year to identify possible turbine sites on the base. Within the 22,000 acres of MMR, about 17 possible sites for 400 foot wind turbines have been identified.
The feasibility of each site will be reviewed in accordance with FAA and Space Command requirements. The sites submitted for review were identified through an initial analysis by the military and state of various factors, to include wind resource, impact to base operations and training, and proximity to the airfield and base and residential housing.
After FAA review, the remaining turbine sites deemed feasible will go through another round of military review to closely assess current and future military mission compatibility. A request for proposals will then be issued.
Proposals will undergo analysis of possible impacts to the environment and residential areas on and near the base. The Massachusetts National Guard, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs will continue to inform and involve the community throughout the process to develop a proposal for wind turbines at the MMR.
"Our goal is to optimize alternative energy benefits and protect the environment while sustaining the current and future use of the base," said Maj. Gen. Joseph C. Carter, the adjutant general of Massachusetts. "As we embark on this process and continue to advance it, the National Guard will remain steadfast to its commitment of transparency and engagement with the community."