Scituate energy goes green

Charlotte Karol, Co-Director of Advertising

For the last several years, Scituate has been making the extra effort to go green. As of recently, all of Scituate’s business and town buildings are powered by renewable energy. The town has promoted recycling and other ways to protect the environment for years. On top of all this, on April 22, one of the most significant environmental efforts will take place. This Earth Day, Scituate’s new wind turbine will begin producing clean energy for the town, changing Scituate’s environment and economy permanently.

Since 2005, Scituate’s Renewable Energy Committee has been exploring options for wind power and this year their work will finally pay off. Thanks to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, Scituate was given a grant of $400,000 to fund the 1.5 MW wind turbine. While the project was developed, Scituate Wind LLC, who oversees the entire operation, partnered with Solaya Energy LLC for energy and Palmer Capital Corporation for finances. After studies and assessments, designs started in 2010 and by 2011 all finances were closed with Cambridge Savings Bank. Construction will begin at the end of January and the turbine will be tested throughout February and March. After years of hard work, the town will finally recognize the beginning of a new environmental era with a completion celebration on Earth Day.

The benefits that the wind turbine will provide for Scituate will create a new outlook for the town’s community. The main goal of the Renewable Energy Committee is create a turbine that will be environmentally and economically beneficial. As far as environmental benefits, the wind turbine will generate 4,295,200 kWh of clean energy each year, equal to half of the town’s electricity needs. This annual energy will also theoretically replace 6,529,606 lbs of carbon dioxide, 333,038 gallons of oil consumed each year and remove 581 cars from the road each year. Selectman Tony Vegnani is glad that Scituate will further its green reputation and said “Scituate is one of the leading communities in green energy and the town has been in the forefront for being environmentally friendly.”

Along with helping the environment, the wind turbine will provide economic benefits to Scituate as well. This project provides Scituate with predictable energy costs for the next 15 years, which will make it much easier to maintain a more efficient annual budget. Scituate anticipates that the town will save 4.5 million dollars over the next 15 years on energy costs, money that can be spent elsewhere, for school and town expenses. SHS biology teacher Mrs. Loughnane is confident that the wind turbine will be a success and said, “This is a great thing and will not detract from the natural beauty of the town.” Between the environmental and economic benefits, Scituate’s wind turbine will definitely change our town for the better.

With this exciting addition to Scituate, everyone is looking forward to the completion of the project. Scituate Selectman Joe Norton shares this excitement and said, “I, along with the Town of Scituate, am looking forward to its operation. We are very thankful to the Wind Energy Committee headed by Paul Reidy, and all the work done by Al Bankert, the head of D P W in making this idea a reality.”