Mount Wachusett Community College receives Second Nature’s 2nd Annual Climate Leadership Award. Award recipients were recognized at the 5th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Summit in Washington, DC on June 23rd, hosted by George Washington University.
With President Daniel Asquino leading the college for more than twenty years, Mount Wachusett Community College (MWCC) was at the forefront of the national climate movement when it converted its all-electric campus to biomass heating in 2002 to save on energy costs and reduce its carbon footprint. The tremendous success of that initiative – implemented at zero net cost to the college through grants and energy rebates – led to other renewable solutions including solar and wind energy.
This year, MWCC activated two new 1.65 MW wind turbines. The Vestas V82 turbines are expected to generate 97 percent of the college’s annual electricity demand, plus return an additional 30 percent of power back to the grid. With the college’s biomass heating, 100KW photovoltaic array, and solar domestic hot water technologies incorporated into the mix, MWCC anticipates operating as a zero net energy campus and nearing carbon neutrality.
MWCC’s wind energy project is an integral component in the Massachusetts Leading by Example Program initiated by Gov. Deval Patrick to achieve statewide goals for clean and renewable energy. The $9 million project, a collaboration between the college and key state agencies, is being funded through $3.2 million in U.S. Department of Energy grants, $2.1 million from a low interest Clean Renewal Energy Bond (CREB); and $3.7 million from Massachusetts Clean Energy Investment Bonds.