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Medford Wind Turbine Project

The turbine project was coordinated by the City of Medford and the Medford Clean Energy Committee. Erected in January of 2009, the Medford turbine provides about 10 percent of the power for the McGlynn School, saving about $25,000 each year in electricity bills.

In addition to saving money, the wind turbine reduces the production of greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to global climate change. The turbine generates roughly 170 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity annually, offsetting approximately 133 tons (266,000 pounds) of greenhouse gas emissions every year. This is equivalent to burning about 13,700 gallons less gasoline or planting about 4,600 trees.

The wind turbine will be an important educational tool for the entire school system and the public. Students can access real-time data on wind speed and energy output, gaining a practical understanding of renewable energy resources and power generation.

The project was funded largely through a number of generous grants and programs including:
A $250,000 grant from the Large Onsite Renewables Initiative of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative
A $200,000 appropriation made through the 2008 Massachusetts Energy Bill
A $100,000 grant from the Mass Energy Consumers Alliance
Ongoing matching grant funds through the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative Clean Energy Choice (aka GreenUp) program.

Because the City saves thousands of dollars on electricity costs each year, the remaining cost of purchasing and erecting the turbine is expected to pay for itself within 7-8 years, or as little as one year if state appropriation funds are released. After that, the turbine will continue to provide Medford with clean energy for many years to come at nearly no cost to the City.

The Medford turbine project proudly proclaims Medford’s commitment to renewable energy and innovative education, providing a model for other municipalities.

Details about the Northwind 100:

Turbine manufacturer: Northern Power Systems
Height: 40 meters (131 feet)
Rotor diameter: 21 meters (69 feet)
Electricity generated: Approximately 170 MWh/year
Greenhouse gas emissions offset: 133 tons/year (266,000 pounds/year)
Power production minimum wind speed: 3 meters/second (7 miles per hour)
50 KW power production wind speed: 8.5 m/s (19 mph)
100 KW power production wind speed: 15.2 m/s (34 mph)

How Does the Northwind 100 Wind Turbine Work?

Three fiberglass reinforced plastic blades are bolted to a rigid hub that mounts directly to the generator shaft.

A variable speed, permanent magnet, direct drive generator system operates the rotor at peak performance.

A safety system provides both normal shutdown and emergency braking backup functions.

Advanced power converter features setpoint control of power factor.

A web-based SmartView® remote monitoring system provides monitoring of the turbine’s performance.

For more details on the Northwind 100 Turbine, visit the Northwind web site.