Greg M. Cooper - First Wind | Greg M. Cooper - First Wind
Nov 5, 2013; Warren, MA, USA; Celebration of the start of construction of the 17 MW ground mount fixed tilt solar panel farm by First Wind at the former location of the Scottish Meadow golf course. (Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper / First Wind)
Warren Gets Headlines With Solar Project
Shovels went into the ground Nov. 5 for what will be the second-largest solar project in Massachusetts, a 14-megawatt plant in Warren, to be joined by a 3-megawatt installation in Millbury. Most of the power from the two projects will be sold to the UMass Medical Center in Worcester and to UMass-Lowell under a 30-year purchase agreement, saving the university system $1 million a year in energy costs. The towns of Millbury and Orange will also buy power under a net-metering agreement that’s expected to save Orange $85,000 a year and Millbury $110,000.
The new facilities are supposed to come online in June, 2014 and will help Massachusetts meet its solar energy goal of 1,600 megawatts by 2020. The state is currently exceeding earlier goals, having reached a goal of 250 megawatts for 2017 this year—four years early. The Warren and Millbury projects are being built by First Wind of Boston with private financing; the company will get investment tax credits and will be eligible to sell the megawatt hours it produces on the solar renewable energy credit (SREC) market (values fluctuate, but each megawatt hour currently sells for $229.01).
Western Mass. Jobs with Justice has spent the past 20 years fighting for workers’ rights, social and economic justice, healthcare access and environmental causes—and this week, the group will take a little break to celebrate its work at an anniversary party.
The bash takes place on Thursday, Nov. 14, at Flywheel Arts, 43 Main St. in Easthampton; doors open at 6 p.m. The event will include live music, speakers, a silent auction and dancing. Bill Dwight, president of the Northampton City Council, will emcee the festivities, and Ariel Jacobson, development director of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, a national group that works to improve conditions for restaurant workers, will deliver the keynote address.
Tickets are $20 per person or $180 for a group of 10 (although WMJWJ says no one will be turned away for lack of funds). For more information or to RSVP, go to www.wmjwj.org.
By the Numbers
69: That’s the percent of low-income Massachusetts kids under the age of six who’ve received developmental screening, according to a new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Massachusetts leads the country in mental-health screening of young kids; only 30 percent of kids nationally get such evaluations.
“Developmental screenings, which can identify at even a very young age whether a child is at risk for developmental delay or may be exhibiting early signs of mental health needs, are an essential first step in ensuring the emotional wellbeing of the youngest members of our Commonwealth,” Nancy Wagman of MassBudget’s Kids Count project wrote of the findings. “There is ample evidence that sound mental health begins in even the earliest childhood and can shape a child’s life well into the future.”
“It’s not every day you get to save a small New England town. We beat a multi-million-dollar corporation.” —Quaboag Valley Against Casinos spokesman Michael Eagan after Palmer voted against a casino proposed by Mohegan Sun.
“I think people just don’t really want casino gambling in Massachusetts.”
— Palmer Town Manager Charles T. Blanchard
“Some ballots ended up on the floor. We also know that there were delays in voting for certain voters today, and because of those irregularities and because Precinct 2 was the precinct where we, Mohegan Sun and Yes for Palmer, did the worst, we do think the issues of Precinct 2 require a recount.”
— Kevin Conroy, an attorney for Mohegan Sun