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PRESS RELEASE- Local Renewable Energy Grants Awarded to Two Innovative Projects
April 30, 2008

BOSTONState Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D – Pittsfield) and State Representatives Daniel E. Bosley (D-North Adams) and Denis E. Guyer (D – Dalton) announced today that two local organizations have been selected to receive grants from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s (MTC) Renewable Energy Trust Fund, under the Trust’s Large Onsite Renewable Initiative (LORI).

 

Grant winners Berkshire East Ski Resort of Charlemont and Roberts Brothers Lumber Company, Inc. of Ashfield have been awarded a total of $440,000 from the MTC LORI Initiative. 

 

“This is a major infusion of state dollars into our companies which will allow us to advance two innovative local projects,” said Downing.  “Renewable energy technologies are drivers of the new economy, and once again western Massachusetts is on the forefront, planning to make the best use out of these new technologies.”

 

Bosley said, “I am pleased that MTC is continuing to support the development of renewable, clean energy in the western part of the state.  Wind power at ski resorts has been tested in western Massachusetts and has proven to serve great benefits to the mountain, surrounding communities, and the environment.  I applaud Berkshire East for their initiative on this issue.”

 

“I am very pleased to see that MTC had selected Roberts Brothers Lumber Company for this grant.  Robert Brothers is a small business but sees the big picture in the emerging renewable energy field and had developed a project that will convert timber waste into energy to power its sawmill.  This is a great initiative and an example for other mills to follow,” said Guyer.

 

The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, as administrator of the Renewable Energy Trust Fund uses the Large Onsite Renewables Initiative to expand the production and use of distributed renewable energy technologies in Massachusetts through feasibility study and design and construction grants.  MTC seeks to develop a diverse portfolio of renewable energy projects across a variety or locations, technologies, and building types.

 

PROJECT DESCRIPTIONS

 

Berkshire East Ski Resort

Grant Amount: $40,000

Project Description: Berkshire East Ski Resort located in Charlemont, Massachusetts will perform a feasibility study exploring the addition of a 225kW or 600kW wind turbine at the top of the mountain to produce power for the resort. The feasibility study will include an in-depth analysis of turbine siting and performance at the facility (including a Wind Atlas Analysis and Applications Program model of the site), utility derived electric value (onsite vs. to-grid power analysis) an economic analysis, an in-depth review of build ability, an electrical system impact/interconnection analysis, a permitting pathway, a visual assessment, a financing ownership and operations analysis and finally a budgeting capital cost and timeline analysis. The entire study will be performed for a total budget of $79,500 and will be completed by August of 2008.

 

Roberts Brothers Lumber Company

Grant Amount: $400,000

Project Description: Roberts Brothers Lumber Company Inc. will install a Biomass CHP gasification unit to heat and power its sawmill in Ashfield Massachusetts.  The facility services five counties and four states.  By converting low grade timber waste to energy, besides the obvious economic rational, Roberts Brother will be a transportation hub and a wood processing enterprise. The mill will be a demonstration project for the concept of waste-to-energy, which may be rolled out to and replicated by other independent mills in Massachusetts.  The theme of a “carbon sequestering seedling to energy release” would be a prominently displayed within the facility for possible classroom study. 

 

 

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