Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Monday, May 18, 2009

Grid Talk

Back in January I wrote about the Town of Sturbridge doing a little "out of the box" thinking to deal with these tight economic times. Two of the ideas that I had were harvesting wind energy from atop one of the mountains here in town, and hydroelectric power form the Quinebaug River. This week I read about a gentleman that would like to set up a solar power site here in town near the MassPike.


All that is needed are some basic permits from the town, and a deal worked out between the current land owner, and construction would begin. This is, as I frequently like to say, a no-brainer. A passive thing, tucked away in the woods that doesn't move, make noise, or generate emissions. What it does do is collect the suns rays and convert it to electrical energy, and send it along into electrical grid. The Solar Company makes money selling the power, the land owner makes a buck, and the Town makes some money as well.

Win, win, win. The Green Triple Crown!

I hope that all goes smoothly for those concerned. The solar array would be visible from the Pike, and would generate a lot of water cooler talk.

This is not only a different direction, but a whole different angle, too. This will definitely wash away some of those carbon footprints out there.

I would also like someone to do some serious thinking about wind energy, too. If not a private company, then why not the Town of Sturbridge? Kinda bold, eh? Yeah, but that is what has always built this country: bold thinking, and bold actions. Back before "thinking outside the " was even in the lexicon. And, why wouldn't Sturbridge look into harnessing the wind? Many communities had their own power companies years ago, and some still do here in Central Mass.

"Approximately 45 communities in Massachusetts receive distribution services from separate municipal electric utilities. View a map of distribution company and municipal service territories in Massachusetts.

Municipally-Owned Utilities

Municipally-owned utilities are owned and operated by the individual towns and cities they serve. These utilities are responsible for customer billing, wire, pole, and meter maintenance, connecting new customers, distribution of electricity, and restoring power after an outage.

Across the U.S., over 2,200 utilities are municipally owned. The Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWE) is a non-profit corporation that was formed to help municipal utilities offer electricity services at a rate competitive with investor-owned utilities"


This is something that would not only be extremely beneficial for the Town of Sturbridge, but for those living outside the community as well. Imagine this town generating enough electricity to power the schools, the municipal buildings, and additional street lights, and maybe make a dollar, or so as well.

Would take a bold individual. Someone with vision, and with a thick skin to get a project like this off the ground and operating, but the benefits would be so worth it.

Think on it. If that town that was blown away in Kansas from a tornado can commit to coming back stronger than ever, and green to boot, we could do something like that as well, especially since we have all of our infrastructure still in place.

Being free from the grid sounds kinda nice. Imagine feeding it, instead of relying on it to feed us.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anonymous comments not accepted, and will be rejected. Please use your full name. Choose "Name / URL" and enter your name, and your name ONLY. Leave "URL" blank.