The owners of a Falmouth, MA industrial park parcel saw the potential in 2004 for a utility-scale wind turbine sited in a large, well-elevated location. A large turbine could supply electricity for the complex and create surplus power that could be delivered back to a regional utility. Despite receiving more than 100 letters of support from residents and businesses, the proposal required five years of local, state and other reviews before construction began. The property owners created a new corporation to generate electricity and coordinate with NSTAR, the local utility – helping NSTAR to increase its capacity from renewable sources and qualifying the venture for renewable energy certificates.
Commercial property owners wanted Cape Cod to develop renewable electricity sources and to capitalize on available clean energy grants .After a site evaluation that considered technical feasibility, permitting hurdles, forecasted production, and economic payback, Notus Clean Energy LLC moved ahead, selecting a turbine. The venture needed approvals from the Federal Aviation Administration, local zoning board and NSTAR. Then, Notus chose Boreal to manage installation from start to finish:
- turbine procurement,
- selection and oversight of construction firms,
- interconnection with the utility,
- complex metering arrangements,
- handling renewable energy certificates.
Solution: Wind Feasibility Arrow Design/Build Arrow Construction/Installation
Boreal began with a wind feasibility study, using computer modeling tools to predict wind patterns and directions, then evaluated turbine options. Notus chose a 1.65 MW, 262-foot-high installation for optimal generating capacity given site constraints. Boreal obtained necessary clearances from local, state, and federal agencies. This project, and a second turbine planned nearby, required a change in flight path for planes using nearby Otis Air National Guard Base. Acting as owner’s agent on the $4million project, Boreal worked with over a dozen firms from feasibility study through operation including electrical, civil and geotechnical engineers, legal counsel and even specialists in avian, sound and FAA issues.
- Construction began in April 2010 and the turbine was online, generating electricity within four months – the shortest time from construction start to final commissioning of a utility scale turbine in Massachusetts.
- Boreal secured $875,000 in federal and state grants for this project and calculated a financial payback of less than five years from its in-service date.
Notus Clean Energy is named for the Greek god of the southwest wind, the direction of Cape Cod’s prevailing summer breeze.
Each year of operation, the turbine’s clean power will avoid production of over 2,800 tons of carbon dioxide and five tons of sulfur dioxide, reducing regional air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.