Berkshire Wind Offsets 612,000 Metric Tons of CO2 & Use of 1.7 Million Barrels of Oil
Berkshire Wind Power Cooperative [BWPCC] is owned cooperatively by 14 Massachusetts municipal utilities, including Groton Electric Light Dept., and MMWEC, all non-profit, public power entities. The Berkshire Wind Project is a 10-turbine, 15-megawatt wind farm atop Brodie Mountain in Hancock, Massachusetts and is the second largest operating wind farm in Massachusetts.
Through contracts with BWPCC and MMWEC, the municipal utilities receive their shares of project output and are responsible for their proportionate share of project costs. BWPCC issued $64.7 million in bonds to finance the project, a 10-turbine, 15-megawatt wind farm on Brodie Mountain in Hancock, that started operation in May 2011.
The A+ credit rating of the Berkshire Wind Power Project, the state’s second largest wind farm, has been affirmed by Fitch Ratings, which cited the financial strength and stability of the municipal utilities that own the project along with the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC). The ratings outlook from Fitch is stable.
The rating also is a reflection of the project’s ability to meet its performance goals, according to Ed Kaczenski, Director of Engineering and Generation Assets for MMWEC. The capacity factor represents the percentage of time the project produces electricity when it is available for operation.
Due to varying wind availability, most inland wind projects operate at a capacity factor nearer 30 percent, but Brodie Mountain is one of the windiest sites in Massachusetts and consequently, Berkshire Wind Project has a capacity factor of about 36 percent.
The project produces enough electricity to power approximately 6,000 homes, offsetting the production of nearly 612,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide and the use of 1.7 million barrels of oil. Wind speeds average about 18.3 mph atop Brodie Mountain, one of the best inland wind sites in Massachusetts.