For Immediate Release - June 16, 2011

Patrick-Murray Administration Announces Wind Energy Siting and Funding Webinar for Municipal Officials

BOSTON - June 16, 2011 - With the rapid growth in the Massachusetts wind energy sector and rising municipal interest in wind development, Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Mark Sylvia today announced a webinar on wind energy development for municipal officials scheduled for June 23. Participants will learn about the technology, responsible siting, permitting and financing of wind turbines.

The seminar is scheduled for Thursday, June 23 from 10 a.m. to noon.

"This seminar complements the growth trend of the wind energy sector here in Massachusetts and is designed to give municipalities the tools they need to get wind energy projects off the drawing board and up and running to stabilize local energy costs and meet local and statewide clean energy goals," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr.

The DOER webinar will provide siting guidance to municipalities including information about how wind energy works, siting considerations, permitting and development bylaws, ownership and financing, and technical assistance available to communities. At the request of municipalities, DOER will follow up with workshops focused on specific communities or regions.

From 2007 to 2011, wind development has surged in Massachusetts, bolstered by major clean energy policies put forward by Governor Deval Patrick in partnership with the Legislature, including the Global Warming Solutions Act and the Green Communities Act. Innovative incentive programs for renewable energy have fueled a steady increase in wind power, with the state currently in the midst of a 30-fold increase in wind power installed across the state, from 3.1 megawatts (MW) when the Governor took office to approximately 90 MW expected to be installed or in construction or design by the end of 2011.

"We hope this seminar and subsequent workshops inspire other communities to follow the examples of those who have already adopted clean energy and energy efficient measures," said Commissioner Sylvia.

Earlier this year, Governor Patrick joined state and local officials, developers and community representatives to cut the ribbon the state's first land-based wind farm at the Berkshire Wind Power Project. Located on the ridgeline of Brodie Mountain, the ten-turbine project will generate enough clean, renewable electricity to power approximately 6,000 homes in western Massachusetts. In April, Mount Wachusett Community College installed two 1.65 megawatt wind turbines that will generate 97 percent of the campus' energy. And, just this month, the town of Ipswich installed a 1.65 MW turbine at their Transfer Station on Town Farm Road - bringing to eight the number of cities and towns across Massachusetts with municipally-owned turbines.

The wind industry cluster in the Commonwealth is expanding too, creating jobs and bringing in new businesses. In May 2011, the first large-blade wind energy testing facility in the world opened in Charlestown. Able to test blades up to 90 meters long and with business already booked business for the next 18-months, the Wind Technology Testing Center, developed by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center in Partnership with the US Department of Energy, puts Massachusetts at the forefront of the global wind energy industry.

For more information or to register visit https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/297126170.