For Immediate Release - December 03, 2012

GOVERNOR PATRICK CELEBRATES NEAR COMPLETION OF LARGEST ONSHORE WIND ENERGY FARM IN MASSACHUSETTS

Hoosac Wind Power Project
Governor Patrick joins state energy officials to celebrate the near completion of the Hoosac Wind Power Project in Florida, Mass. (Photo Credit: Eric Haynes / Governor's Office) View additional photos.

FLORIDA – Monday, December 3, 2012 – Governor Deval Patrick today joined state energy officials to celebrate the near completion of the Hoosac Wind Power Project, the largest wind energy facility in both Massachusetts and Southern New England.

“Wind energy has so much potential, and when this project is complete, it will be a big step forward in reducing our reliance on volatile, foreign fossil fuels,” said Governor Patrick. “We share a common vision with the project developers to make the Commonwealth a healthier and environmentally cleaner place for generations to come.”

Located in Florida and Monroe, the project includes 19 turbines made in the US that will work to produce enough electricity to power over 10,000 homes a year. The project will offset approximately 64 million pounds of carbon dioxide a year, relative to conventional electricity generation, the equivalent of taking over 20,000 cars off the road. This project will help Massachusetts meet its nation-leading greenhouse gas emission reduction targets as set in the Global Warming Solutions Act signed into law by Governor Patrick in 2008.

“This project is a good example of how we can control our own energy future,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan. “Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels will keep millions of our energy dollars in Massachusetts, leading to economic development and jobs.”

The project is also contributing to the local economy. Hoosac spent $3.8 million dollars locally during construction and will generate approximately $6.8 million in tax revenue for the towns and another $3 million in lease payments to local landowners over the life of the project.

Since development began in early 2001, the project has created more than 130 temporary construction jobs, and employs several full-time operations jobs.

"The towns of Florida and Monroe have worked to move this project forward for years,” said Senator Benjamin B. Downing, Senate Chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. “They deserve credit for their persistence and foresight. Clean energy - along with efficiency and conservation - is key to solving climate change. In this case, this project also reduces the town's dependence on fossil fuels and provides a needed revenue stream to support local services."

"Harvesting energy from wind represents a critical component of our Commonwealth’s sustainable future," said Senator Marc Pacheco, Senate Chairman of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “I am excited by this project and the fact that we continue to aggressively grow green energy sources in Massachusetts." 

“Renewable wind energy is a clean, productive, and stable energy source,” said Representative John Keenan, House Chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. “I applaud the administration for its strong support of wind energy projects that continue to help grow the economy and job market. Wind projects like Hoosac Wind create reliable and affordable energy sources for the citizens of the Commonwealth.”

"The Town of Florida is proud to be part of the renewable energy initiative within the state," said Florida Town Administrator Christine Dobbert. "We look forward to the ongoing relationship with Iberdrola and the Town of Monroe as the windmills start to turn making us the largest wind farm in Southern New England."

The project will sell power and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to NSTAR Electric, under a long-term contract made possible by a utility renewable energy procurement process Governor Patrick signed into law in the 2008 Green Communities Act.

Governor Patrick announced an ambitious 2,000 MW by 2020 wind energy goal in 2009 in order to accelerate development of the Commonwealth’s significant onshore and offshore wind resources. Installing wind capacity of 2,000 MW would provide enough power for 800,000 homes and meet an estimated 10 percent of the state’s current electric load with clean, renewable wind power. By displacing electricity generated by fossil fuels, use of wind turbines on this scale would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3.1 million tons, or roughly 12 percent of emissions from power plants today, and reduce water used to cool power plants by over 5 million gallons annually. The growth rate of onshore wind in Massachusetts has been one of the fastest in the nation, and Cape Wind will be the nation’s first commercial scale offshore wind farm.

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