Solaya Renewable Energy of Woburn, Mass., has been selected by Massachusetts to install a utility-scale wind turbine on state-owned land adjacent to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's Blandford Service Area.
Solaya, which responded to a request for proposals issued by the former Massachusetts Turnpike Authority last spring, plans to construct a nearly 400-foot-tall 1.5 MW turbine near the center of the 68-acre state-owned site, as well as a kiosk at the service area that will provide motorists with information about the turbine and its operation.
Expected to generate up to 3,000 MWh of electricity annually, the turbine could produce sufficient clean energy to power roughly 400 households.
The project, which is expected to break ground later this year, is subject to local zoning and must comply with all environmental permitting and other regulatory requirements. Electricity generated by the Blandford turbine will be sold to Western Massachusetts Electric Co. or another retail electricity provider.
Under the terms of a lease executed with MassDOT, Solaya will pay rent to MassDOT equal to 3.5% of the project's annual power sales, which are expected to total approximately $16,600 the first year of operations and increase over time through anticipated long-term power purchase agreements. Terms of the contract guarantee the commonwealth a minimum annual rent of $15,000 per year over a term of 20 years.