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Welcome to the Alternative Energy Study Committee

Our Mission Statement Alternative Energy
Appointed by the Town Administrator

Established by the 2003 Town Meeting, the Nahant Alternative Energy Study Committee is comprised of seven appointed members having the directive to evaluate the feasibility of establishing an alternative energy project or projects for the Town of Nahant.

The committee's mission is to undertake the study, and to obtain assistance in the study, for making use of alternative technologies and fuels for the production of energy and energy conservation in order to achieve positive environmental, financial and/or security benefits.

The committee will make recommendations at an Annual Town Meeting, based on study findings and evaluation.

Chairperson, At-Large
Vice Chairperson, At-Large
Jim Callahan

2005 Town Meeeting Update

At Town Meeting in April, voters will choose whether or not to approve a zoning law change, that would permit a meteorology (met) tower. The proposed zoning law change would allow a met tower of up to 140’ in height, for a period of up to 15 months, or less.

This article (Article 13) was submitted by the Planning Board, at the request of the Nahant Alternate Energy Committee (NAEC). NAEC was formed to study alternate energy sources, fuels and conservation methods, that could be used to benefit the town.

The purpose of the met tower is to measure the wind velocity in Nahant, to determine whether wind is an economically attractive source of energy, or income, for the Town of Nahant. Article 13 allows only a temporary tower for the purposes of a study. A wind turbine is not allowed by Article 13. There is no expense to the Town for the tower.

If Article 13 is approved, the Town would erect the tower at the compost area off Spring Road. The tower would be 132’ tall, with a diameter of approximately 6” and be supported by guy wires, that extend outward to a diameter of 165 feet, with the tower at the center of this diameter. On top of the tower would be a small wind speed and directional device (approximately 1’ in diameter).

There are no permanent footings required. The foot of the tower is placed on a steel plate that lies on the ground. Guy wires are attached to screw anchors, similar to telephone pole guy anchors, that are screwed into the ground. As a point of reference, the meteorology equip-ment, tower diameter and guy wires would be dimension-ally similar to a 35’ sailboat’s mast, except that the height would be three times as tall and the guy wires are more widely distributed, as noted above.

Any questions about the met tower may be e-mailed to:

Committee Update: Summer 2004
"About the Money" recenty published article by Dorothy Allen. (PDF Version)

Wind Energy In the Local News
The arrival of the test tower takes Lynn a step forward in its study of wind power.
Read the complete story online
(Daily Lynn Item)

Our Meetings
The Nahant Alternative Energy Committee meets every month on the second Wednesday of the month at the Town Hall at 7:30 PM.

Our Draft Report

The Committee's Draft Report - April 2004

Link to the Online Version of the April 2004 Draft document and view

Committee Updates

April 2004 Update

The Nahant Alternative Energy Study Committee (NAESC) was formed during the 2003 Town Meeting for the purpose of studying alternative energy technologies to be used by the Town of Nahant. The Town Administrator appointed the seven members of the Committee in June of 2003 and the NAESC held its first meeting in September of 2003. The NAESC meets regularly on second the Wednesday of every month at 7:30 PM at the Town Hall. Presently, the term of the Committee must be extended for another year in order to allow the Committee to complete investigations and prepare the report that will present study findings and recommendations.

The mission of the Committee is to study and report on the potential of energy conservation and the feasibility of use of alternative technologies and fuels for the production of energy. The focus of the study is to achieve positive environmental, financial and/or security benefits for the town.

The Committee assigned main responsibility for areas of study to its seven members. These areas for evaluation are:

Summary of Town Energy Use and Infrastructure, Baseline Assessment of Environmental Impacts, Energy Conservation, Alternative Technologies for Energy Generation, Wind Power, Solar , Ocean Hydropower, Biodiesel, Biomass, Distributed Generation (including combined heat and power) , Munipalization, Short and Long Term Recommendations

In pursuit of information the Committee made inquiries with energy experts, attended conferences and presentations. The NAESC made an initial contact with the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC), an institution charged with the promotion of renewable energy in the Commonwealth. The MTC has set aside 4 million dollars, a portion of the 150 million dollar Renewable Energy Trust Fund, to promote the development of wind power by communities. In March the NAESC voted to act on an MTC proposal and apply for a building permit for a temporary meteorological tower in Nahant. The met tower is designed to collect wind speed and direction data for one year.

Public Information Meetings and Public Hearings will be held as very important components of this process.

The Committee also collected and evaluated the Town of Nahant fiscal year 2002/03 municipal energy use information focusing on establishing baseline costs and greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, emissions. The pie chart and table below are a sample of these initial analyses.

Breakdown of Nahant Energy Expenditures FY'03
Total = $223,325

Breakdown of Nahant CO2 Emissions – FY03

Energy Type Units Usage Conversion Units Lbs. CO2
Electric KWH 740,515 1.28 lbs/kwh 947,859
Natural Gas Therms 69,739 11.71 lbs/therms 816,644
Heating Oil Gal (#2) 16,043 22.4 lbs/gal 359,359
Gasoline Gal 19,577 19.6 lbs/gal 382,704
Diesel Gal 6,498 22.4 lbs/gal 145,547
Total         2,653,112
Metric Tons         1,206

In addition the Committee contacted the utilities that service Nahant, Keyspan and Massachusetts Electric, to receive information on energy conservation. We obtained a proposal from Massachusetts Electric for energy conservation and energy cost reduction for the Town Hall. The NAESC anticipates further work with the utilities regarding other electric and gas accounts.

Until the Committee is able to complete its report, it plans to provide, on the NAESC section of the Town of Nahant web site, internet links to informative energy web sites and a continually updated draft of the report.

Resources and Links

Energy Audits
International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives Funded the development of energy audits and action plans for cities and towns

Massachusetts Climate Action Network

Organization of MA cities and towns trying to address climate change issues through energy conservation and other measures
Emission Estimates n/a
EIA n/a
Rebuild America Partnership General information on alternative energy technologies
Massachusetts Electric Renewable Energy Project
Keyspan Energy Tips
Wind Power Technology Homepage Community Page Community Info Page
Windshare Canadian co-operative urban wind machine, financial statement included
Windpower Website
American Wind Energy Association The American Wind Energy Association (AWEATM) promotes wind energy as a clean source of electricity for consumers around the world
Energy Information Portal A gateway to hundreds of Web sites and thousands of online documents on energy efficiency and renewable energy
National Wind Technology Center The National Wind Technology Center, located at the foot of the Rocky Mountains near Boulder, Colorado, is a world-class research facility managed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy Website
Solar Website Website Website
Other Energy Ocean Wave Energy Bio-Diesel Combined Heat and Power Wood Chip Burners Fuel Cells Fuel Cells Water
Energy Source Comparisons A UCS document “Powerful Solutions” presents cost comparisons This site has comparative cost information but not as in depth as UCS FABULOUS site with visual images of power plant installations worldwide by power source categories
Grant and Regulatory Organizations  
Massachusetts Technology Collaborative Massachusetts Technology Collaborative
Massachusetts Energy Consumers Alliance Discount Heating Oil, Green Certificates, Solar Boston, Community Assistance Programs
Information on Electricity Restructuring

For information on regulations, permits, renewable portfolio standard RPS. Available from DOER “Renewable Energy and Distributed Generation Guidebook” Department of Telecommunications and Energy (DTE) formerly Department of Public Utilities
Mass Electric Our distribution (utility) company,
offers information on conservation measures for residents and the town
Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company The organization serving the interests of the 40 municipally owned utilities
Independent System Operator (ISO) Our independent system operator holds regular meetings (this needs to be confirmed) to inform the public on matters of electricity, training sessions designed to introduce beginners to the science of electricity pricing and distribution.
New England Power Pool Formed in 1971, the New England Power Pool is a voluntary association of entities that are engaged in the electric power business in New England
US Department of Energy Renewable Energy Tax Credits or Renewable Energy Production Incentives

Federal Wind Subsidies

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulates and oversees energy industries in the economic and environmental interest of the American public
Local Community Organizations  
Healthlink HealthLink is a Massachusetts North Shore citizens group working to improve public health
Salem Alliance for Environment (SAFE) is a group dedicated to addressing environmental issues through education, advocacy, and community organizing
Patrick Mehr (e-mail) Lexington Electric Utility Committee charged with getting rid of NSTAR and establishing a new Municipal Power Company in Lexington. In the process of changing statute to allow for utility buy-outs



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