US-based Sustainable Energy Developments (SED) has completed the installation of a 100 kW on-site wind turbine at Mount Saint Mary’s Abbey in Wrentham, Massachusetts, US.
Sister Mariann Garrity of the Abbey approached SED in 2007 about the possibility of a wind project at the Monastery where she and nearly 50 other Cistercian Nuns live and work. Despite their cloistered lifestyle that limits contact with the outside world, the Sisters at Mount Saint Mary’s Abbey are aware of rising electricity costs and of their own carbon footprint. The new wind turbine will offset more than 50% of their energy needs with wind-generated electricity.
A feasibility study completed by SED in determined that a 100 kW wind turbine would be the most cost effective fit for the Abbey. The Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust awarded the Abbey grants to help fund the feasibility study, design activities and the recently-completed construction of the wind turbine. The Abbey received donations from local foundations and even sold some of its land in order to help fund the costs of the project. The Sisters will continue to hold fundraisers in an effort to pay off their remaining project obligations.
The wind turbine, a Northwind 100, is manufactured in Barre, Vermont by Northern Power Systems. Founded in 2002, SED is an Ontario, New York-based decentralized wind power company and has installed more than 3 MW of wind projects throughout the Northeastern US.