UMass Dartmouth completes first phase of energy makeover

Posted 5/1/12

DARTMOUTH – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is unveiling a wind energy project Tuesday, marking the end of the first phase of an undertaking that the school says will reduce annual energy costs by $3 million and eliminate 22 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

The university is seeking to modernize its energy systems in two phases at a cost of $34 million in partnership with Noresco, a Westborough-based energy infrastructure solutions that will provide ongoing support.

UMass said the project will pay for itself in cost savings in about 12 years.

“We plan that this is the opening of a very long campaign to keep doing what we do better, greener and more cheaply,” said Rob Lamontagne, public affairs specialist.

The 600-kilowatt wind turbine will stand 243 feet tall and cut carbon emissions by 590,000 pounds annually while preventing the emission of 1,161 pounds of sulfur dioxide and 489 pounds of nitrous oxide.

The first phase of the energy project also included replacing lighting and HVAC systems as well as water and sewer modifications.

Phase two will replace the university’s 40-year-old oil-fueled heating plant with a gas-fired co-generation turbine that will reduce heating costs and save the university $1.1 million annually. It also will see solar panel installations on several university buildings that will generate $125,000 in savings per year.

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