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Wind power cooperative hatched; Mt. Wachusett site is targeted.

Byline: Sandy Meindersma

PRINCETON - The region's heavy dependence on fossil fuels fossil fuel: see energy, sources of; fuel.
fossil fuel

Any of a class of materials of biologic origin occurring within the Earth's crust that can be used as a source of energy. Fossil fuels include coal, petroleum, and natural gas.
 and their high cost has led to the development of a cooperative created to assist municipal power companies in developing and financing wind projects.

The Massachusetts Massachusetts (măsəch`sĭts), most populous of the New England states of the NE United States.  Municipal Light Department Wind Energy Cooperative has been established through a joint effort by the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Co. and the Princeton Municipal Light Department to finance and construct a wind farm on Mount Wachusett This article is about the geological mountain. For information regarding the ski area, see Wachusett Mountain.
Mount Wachusett is located in the towns of Princeton and Westminster in Worcester County of Massachusetts.

Jonathan V. Fitch fitch: see polecat. , manager of PMLD PMLD Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties , said the cooperative will enable the light department to borrow funds for the wind project without affecting the town's budget, tax rate or borrowing capacity.

"The cooperative can borrow on its own," Mr. Fitch said. "There's more flexibility this way."

Mr. Fitch said the formation of the cooperative is a logical next step for the

MMWEC, which exists to provide energy services to municipal lighting plants. "It's taking steps to help individual light plants, instead of groups of lighting plants," he said.

The cooperative is currently limited to the Princeton wind project, although the incorporation papers permit other wind projects to join.

"We're getting started with Princeton," said David Tuohey, communications manager for the MMWEC. "We hope to bring other municipal utilities' wind projects through the cooperative. It's a vehicle for them to diversify diversify

To acquire a variety of assets that do not tend to change in value at the same time. To diversify a securities portfolio is to purchase different types of securities in different companies in unrelated industries.
 their power supply."

Mr. Tuohey added that while there are currently no other members of the cooperative, the town of Templeton is in the process of establishing a project adjacent to Narragansett Regional High School.

Mr. Fitch said the cooperative agreement stipulates that each municipal light department is only permitted to vote on its own projects.

"If other munis (municipal light departments) use this tool, it will become a more streamlined process, and we all get the benefit of learning from each other," Mr. Fitch said.

Mr. Fitch said that he has made the initial payment for the turbines, and that the co-operative is in the process of finalizing the balance of the financing.

Ground was broken for Princeton's $6.5 million wind farm Aug. 24. Two 1.5 megawatt meg·a·watt  
n. Abbr. MW
One million watts.

 turbines are on order, with an expected delivery date of next summer.
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Sep 7, 2007
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