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Renewable Resources
We are continuing to purchase competitively priced clean power reducing our carbon footprint, which is far below the New England Power Pool’s carbon footprint by approximately 50%.
 
Clean, Renewable Energy Achieved

During 2009 approximately 73% of our total power supply came from clean and renewable resources, 52% of our clean energy came from our life of unit power contracts with the Seabrook and Millstone nuclear units. Approximately 19% of our clean, renewable energy came from hydroelectric units in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut and upstate New York. The remaining two percent came from wind, solar and biomass facilities.

What this means for the SMLD is that we are continuing to purchase competitively priced clean power reducing our carbon footprint, which is far below the New England Power Pool’s carbon footprint by approximately 50%. In addition, we avoid penalty fees by not having as much fossil fuel in our power supply mix.
Existing Hydroelectric Power Supply Resources
 
The SMLD purchases over 24% of our power supply from renewable resources. 
 
Baltic Mill Hydro
Since December of 2006, the SMLD has purchased hydroelectric power from a unit called the Baltic Mill Hydro on the Mascoma River in Enfield, NH.
 

   
Contoocook Hydro
Since January of 2009, the SMLD added more hydroelectric facilities to its power supply portfolio, including a run of the river 250 KW plant on the Contoocook River in Contoocook, NH.
 

   
Mechanicsville (Saywatt) Hydro
Since January 2007, the SMLD has purchased hydroelectric power from a unit called Mechanicsville (Saywatt) Hydro on the French River in Mechanicsville, ConnecticutSince January 2007, the SMLD has purchased hydroelectric power from a unit called Mechanicsville (Saywatt) Hydro on the French River in Mechanicsville, Connecticut.
 

   
Methuen Falls Hydro
Since October of 2008, the SMLD has purchased hydroelectric power from a unit called the Methuen Falls Hydroelectric plant on the Spicket River in Methuen, MA.
 

   
Centennial Hydro
Since March 2010, the SMLD has purchased hydroelectric power from a unit called Centennial Island Hydro on the French River in Lowell, MA.
 
 
Solar Array     
 
The Sterling Municipal Light Department 2.4 KW Solar Array
A monitor located in the SMLD’s 50 Main Street lobby displays the clean solar power output statistics for the 2.4 KW thin-film photovoltaic technology on the rooftop of our 2 Leominster Road Operations Building. This test site was a great way to utilize green technology for some of our electrical needs and to help the individuals in Town make an informed decision on whether or not to invest in solar power for their home or business.

There is quite a bit of confusing information regarding state rebates for renewables that you need to understand is not available for everyone. By joining these programs there is no guarantee that you will receive funds.
 
Click image to view LIVE clean solar
power output statistics. 
 As you review the SMLD’s solar array, please take a copy of our solar reference sheet to review available tax incentives or grants that you may be eligible for.

A monitor located in the SMLD’s 50 Main Street lobby displays the clean solar power output statistics for the 2.4 KW thin-film photovoltaic technology on the rooftop of our 2 Leominster Road Operations Building. This test site was a great way to utilize green technology for some of our electrical needs and to help the individuals in Town make an informed decision on whether or not to invest in solar power for their home or business. There is quite a bit of confusing information regarding state rebates for renewables that you need to understand is not available for everyone. By joining these programs there is no guarantee that you will receive funds. As you review the SMLD’s solar array, please take a copy of our solar reference sheet to review available tax incentives or grants that you may be eligible for.  

On September 25, 2008 the Sterling Municipal Light Department completed the installation of its first photovoltaic system on the roof of its Operations building. This project was the direct result of our desire to test and explore renewable technology and share our experiences with our customers. The system currently has a production capacity of 2.4kw. It was designed to be modular and allow for easy expansion in the future. The system utilizes 18 “Thin Film” Photovoltaic Laminate (PVL) panels from the American company Uni-Solar. This product is lightweight, durable, and flexible. PVL panels also allow for a less conspicuous installation than other photovoltaic technologies. The PVL panels connect to the utility electrical system through a grid-tie inverter from the local American company Solectria. The major components of the system are from American manufacturers and were installed by the local solar contractor SouthPoint LLC, out of Leominster. The system was designed to supplement the electrical usage of the Operations Department. This test site has been a great way to utilize green technology to fulfill some of our electrical needs, while providing a great ongoing demonstration of the technology to Town residents. Over the past year and half, residents have been able to view the system and track its production from our main lobby and on-line through the link provided on the SMLD Web site. It is our hope that residents interested in solar electricity will tap the resource of the SMLD’s photovoltaic experience to better understand how these systems operate.
Berkshire Wind Power Co-operative     
 
The Berkshire Wind Power Project is a wind farm on Brodie Mountain in Hancock, Massachusetts. Owned and operated by the Berkshire Wind Power Cooperative Corporation, it is the second largest wind farm in Massachusetts, with 10 GE 1.5 MW wind turbines and a total installed capacity of 15 MW.

The Berkshire wind power project became fully operational in 2011, and provides enough electricity to power 6,000 homes annually.

Project details
The project consists of 10 GE Wind Energy 1.5 MW wind turbines on Brodie Mountain in Hancock, Massachusetts. Each turbine produces 1.5 MW, the site has the capacity to produce 15 MW; this is enough energy to supply approximately 6,000 average homes in the region annually.
 
Click image for more information and to view their website
 
The towers are 213 feet (65 m) tall, with 121 feet (37 m) blades. From base to vertically positioned blade tip, they will be approximately 334 feet (102 m). Wind speeds atop Brodie Mountain average 8 m/s (18 mph), one of the best inland wind sites in Massachusetts, making it a Class 6 resource on the American Wind Energy Scale of 1 to 7. The turbines begin generating energy at wind speeds as low as 8 mph (13 km/h), and produce the maximum power output when winds blow above 30 mph (48 km/h). The maximum rotor speed is 20 rpm. The project was built with turbines manufactured at facilities all across the U.S. The power generated is delivered to the New England grid through the local utility.

Environmental impact
Berkshire Wind Power Project offsets approximately 612,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year relative to conventional electricity generation. That’s equivalent to the estimated annual emissions produced by consuming more than 1.17 million barrels of oil.

Economic impact
Approximately US $109,000 per year in annual payments in lieu of taxes are made to the Town of Hancock, changing with inflation, amounting to approximately US $2.1 million over the life of the agreement. In addition the project created 50 full-time jobs, through the use of 20 Massachusetts companies, and purchase many products and services locally.
 
 
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Services
The SMLD is happy to provide its customers with programs such as our early bill payment discount, gift certificates and energy consulting.
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Kill-A-Watt™
Simply plug the Kill-A-Watt™ Electricity Usage Monitor into a three-prong, grounded wall outlet, plug your electrical product into it, and then find out how efficient (or wasteful) it is.
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  © 2013 Sterling Municipal Light Department - 50 Main St, Sterling, MA 01564 - 978-422-8267   customerservice@energysterling.com  
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