Wind power in Massachusetts

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Massachusetts Maritime Academy
wind turbine
IBEW wind turbine along I93

The U.S. state of Massachusetts has vast wind energy resources onshore as well as offshore and the installed capacity has been growing in recent years due to a variety of regulatory actions and financial incentives enacted by the state government. Notable policies include a Renewable portfolio standard that requires 22% of the state's electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020 and a goal of installing 2,000 MW of wind power in the state by 2020.[1]

Notable projects[edit]

Installed in 2005, the IBEW 100 kW wind turbine along I93 south of Boston drew attention to wind power to tens of thousands of commuters.[2] In 2009, a similar wind turbine was installed along I93 north of Boston, in Medford, expected to generate 170,000 kWh/year.[3][4]

A GE Wind Energy 1.5 MW turbine was the first wind turbine to be installed at a ski resort in the United States of America at Jiminy Peak in Hancock, MA. The turbine, installed in 2007, is visible from many of the slopes on the mountain and it produces 4,600 MWh annually, about one third of the facilities electricity demands. [5]

At the Joint Base Cape Cod three turbines generate power for the base and construction is underway for two additional 1.68 MW turbines to power the radar unit. The three, soon to be five, turbines are highly visible from both the Bourne Bridge and the Sagamore Bridge looking to the East. The turbines have resulted in significant savings for the base, the turbines also do not generate any controversy because they are located well within the base boundaries far from civilian homes.[6]

At about 450 MW, the offshore wind farm Cape Wind was the largest wind project under review in the state. It would provide enough electricity to power nearly 420,000 homes using 130 wind turbines.[7]

Massachusetts requires 1.6 GW of offshore wind power by 2027. The 1 GW Bay State Wind is one of several planned.[8][9]

New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal[edit]

The proposed New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal is the first in the country hub designed for the deployment of offshore wind farms.[10]


United States installed wind power capacity animation 561px.gif


The following table shows the growth in wind power installed nameplate capacity in MW for Massachusetts since 2000.[11][12]

Year Amount Change  % Change
2000 0 0 -
2001 1 1 -
2006 4 3 300%
2007 5 1 25%
2008 6 1 20%
2009 15 9 150%
2010 18 3 20%
2011 47 29 161%
2012 103 56 119%
2013 106 3 3%
2014 107 1 1%
2015 107 0 0%


In early 2010, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory released the first comprehensive update of wind energy potential by state since 1993, showing that Massachusetts had potential to install 1,028 MW of onshore wind power, using 80 meter high wind turbines,[13] and 1,913 MW of 100 MW wind turbines could achieve 30% or better capacity factor - and of those, almost 500 MW could reach a capacity factor of 40%.[14]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]