Bay State to Build Wind Turbine Along Turnpike in Western Mass.

Fri May 29, 2009 - Northeast Edition

BOSTON (AP) State energy and transportation officials are planning to install a wind turbine in western Massachusetts.

The secretaries of Transportation and Energy and Environmental Affairs announced April 28 they are requesting proposals to build the turbine near the Massachusetts Turnpike’s Blandford Rest Area.

A University of Massachusetts study found the 68-acre site, which has the highest elevation on the Turnpike, can support a 1.5 megawatt turbine. That would be enough to power about 400 households.

The wind turbine’s output would be sold to the Western Massachusetts Electric Co. or another retail electricity provider.

A transportation spokesman said the turbine is the first along the Turnpike and its visibility would boost awareness about wind energy.

Proposals for the project are due June 30.