Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New England's invisible wind-power plants

At least 13 wind-powered electricity plants of industrial size, operating in New England during 2007 through 2012, are easily seen by visitors but invisible to federal government. They don't appear in Form EIA-860 data about plant characteristics, maintained by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, so that the plants are apparently unregistered with the U.S. Department of Energy. [1] They don't look to have been submitting Form EIA-923 data on their electricity generation. [2]

Rated outputs of New England's invisible wind plants, as reported by news media, vary from 1.5 to 6.0 peak MW, with from 1 to 3 wind turbines per plant. Of those plants, 11 are located in Massachusetts and 2 are in Rhode Island; 7 are apparently owned by government and 6 by industry and individuals; 3 plants apparently owned by government have commercial operators: ones in Fairhaven, Kingston and Scituate, MA. Among them, the invisible plants have 20 industrial-size wind turbines, rated at a total of 35 peak MW. Considering the plants with full calendar years of operation through 2012, a wind plant of that size would rank seventh largest in the region.

It's no surprise to find nonreporting wind plants in Massachusetts--New England's capital of trophy-size wind power. Starting in 2009, officials in Gov. Patrick's administration had a windfall--so to speak--millions of federal dollars in so-called "stimulus" subsidies to pass out, funding new wind plants. Aside from the Hoosac and Berkshire Wind projects in western Massachusetts, the Patrick administration channeled its largesse to small and trophy-size plants. Once a turbine was turning and the governor spoke, who cared? The following list identifies the 13 wind plants missing in action and their apparent owners and operators. It references some articles in Web-based news media indicating that the plants have been operating.

Jiminy Peak Ski Resort, Hancock (Lanesboro), MA, 2007, 1.50 MW, 1 turbine
-- Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, 37 Corey Rd, Lanesboro, MA 01237, 413-738-5500

Portsmouth High School, Portsmouth, RI, 2009, 1.50 MW, 1 turbine
-- Town of Portsmouth, 2200 East Main Rd., Portsmouth, RI 02871, 401-683-3255

Town of Templeton Municipal Light, Templeton, MA, 2010, 1.65 MW, 1 turbine
-- Templeton Municipal Light & Water, 86 Bridge St., Templeton, MA 01436, 978-939-5323

Kingston Wind, Kingston, MA, 2011, 6.00 MW, 3 turbines
-- No Fossil Fuel, Mary O'Donnell, 47 Marion Dr., Kingston, MA 02364, 617-688-6088

Town of Kingston Landfill, Kingston, MA, 2011, 2.00 MW, 1 turbine
-- Kingston Wind Independence, c/o Aquinergy, 60 Almy Knoll Ter., Portsmouth, RM 02871, 401-835-4033

North Central Correctional Institution, Gardner, MA, 2011, 3.30 MW, 2 turbines
-- NCCI/Massachusetts, 500 Colony Rd., Gardner, MA 01440, 978-630-6000

Town of Scituate Wastewater Treatment, Scituate, MA, 2012, 1.50 MW, 1 turbine
-- Scituate Wind, c/o Solaya Energy, 56 Cummings Park, Woburn, MA 01801, 781-832-0201

Town of Fairhaven Wastewater Treatment, Fairhaven, MA, 2012, 3.00 MW, 2 turbines
-- Fairhaven Wind, c/o Solaya Energy, 56 Cummings Park, Woburn, MA 01801, 781-832-0201

Camelot Wind, Plymouth, MA, 2012, 1.50 MW, 1 turbine
-- Camelot Wind, 74-1 Camelot Dr., Plymouth, MA 02360, 508-888-9282

Lightolier, Fall River, MA, 2012, 2.00 MW, 1 turbine
-- Lightolier Div., Philips Lighting, 631 Airport Rd., Fall River, MA 02720, 508-679-8131

Varian, Gloucester, MA, 2012, 2.50 MW, 1 turbine
-- Varian Semiconductor Equipment, 35 Dory Rd., Gloucester, MA 01930, 978-281-2000

Gloucester Engineering, Gloucester, MA, 2012, 4.00 MW, 2 turbines
-- Gloucester Engineering, 11 Dory Rd., Gloucester, MA 01930, 978-281-1800

Narragansett Bay Wastewater Treatment, Providence, RI, 2012, 4.50 MW, 3 turbines
-- Narragansett Bay Commission, 1 Service Rd., Providence, RI 02905, 401-461-8848

[1] Existing and planned generators, Form EIA-860, U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2013, at http://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia860/

[2] Power plant operating data, Form EIA-923, U.S. Energy Information Administration, 1970-2012, at http://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia923/

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