Voluntary renewable energy program in place in Braintree

By Robert Aicardi
GateHouse News Service
Posted May 21, 2009

Braintree — The Braintree Electric Light Department (BELD) has announced a new voluntary renewable energy program called BGreen, standing for Braintree Electric Green Energy Program. The program will be funded through the purchase of green energy units, BELD General Manager William Bottiggi told the Forum.

The units will cost $2 per unit each month and appear on all residential and commercial electric bills.

A customer who wishes to support the program can participate in it by calling (781) 348-2353.
“We are excited to be making progress on the environmental front by installing renewable green energy generation,” Bottiggi said. “Now that we are in the final stages of commissioning the Thomas Watson Generating Station, we can devote some of our time to other initiatives such as these.”

There are currently two initiatives that the green energy revenue will be applied to, he explained.

The first is a 10.4 kilo-watt solar array to be installed on the roof of the operations building at BELD’s Potter Road facility.

This solar array, according to Bottiggi, is anticipated to produce approximately 13,700 kilo-watt hours per year.

The second is the development of a wind turbine within Braintree.

A number of sites have been analyzed, including the town’s landfill and the area around its reservoir.

With this analysis complete, BELD is erecting a temporary meteorological tower at the reservoir to take actual wind speed and direction measurements for the next year.

It is expected that the roughly 180 feet tall tower will be built by June 1, Bottiggi told the town council on May 19.

Once this is completed and depending on the results, BELD is prepared to proceed with the permitting and approval to install up to four wind turbines at the site near the reservoir.

Bottiggi believes that under the best case scenario, this installation would occur in 2011.

“In the future, wind turbines could be as cost effective as the gas turbines we’re putting in today,” he said.