Berkshire East Renewable Energy Facility | Connecting Point | July 2, 2018

Berkshire East Renewable Energy Facility | Connecting Point | July 2, 2018


>>>WHILE LOCAL SKI AREAS
PROVIDE RECREATION FOR WINTER ENTHUSIASTS ON THEIR SLOPES,
THEY ARE CRITICIZED FOR BEING A ELECTRICITY HOG USING HUGE
AMOUNTS OF POWER FOR THEIR MOUNTAINS. BERKSHIRE EAST MOUNTAIN RESORT
IN CHARLEMONT INSTALLED A 900KILOWATT INDICATE TURBINE
AND MOVED AHEAD WITH PLANS TO INSTALL A SOLAR ARRAY. BY DOING SO, THEY BECAME THE
FIRST SKI AREA IN THE WORLD TO BE 100 PERCENT POWERED BY
ONSITE RENEWABLE ENERGY.>>LET’S GET OUR HANDS ON THE
TOWER AND LOOK UP.>>THE
POWER WIND TURBINE IS 195 FEET FROM THE BASE TO THE
CENTER OF THE ROTOR AND THE BLADES ARE ABOUT 93 FEET EACH
SO IT IS JUST ABOUT UNDER A FOOTBALL FIELD AS FAR AS ITS
HEIGHT FROM THE GROUND. SINCE THE SHEAR FAMILY CAME IN
1976, ALL OF THEIR ENERGY WAS PURCHASED BY A SUPPLIER. THEN IN ABOUT 2000, 2008, THE
SCHAEFER BROTHERS DECIDED WITH THEIR DAD THAT THEY WERE GOING
TO PURCHASE THE SKI AREA FROM THEIR INVESTORS OR BUY OUT
THEIR INVESTORS AND THAT IS WHEN THE DECISION WAS MADE
AROUND 2007, 2008, TO INSTALL A TURN PINE IN A SOLAR FIELD. AT LEAST THE INITIAL PART WAS
INSTALLATION OF THE TURBINE. THE COST WAS ABOUT $3 MILLION. THE PAYOFF WAS SCHEDULED TO BE
ABOUT 5-7 YEARS AND RIGHT NOW WE’RE AT 2018 AND WE’RE
BASICALLY LOOKING AT A REALLY GOOD INVESTMENT. NOT ONLY FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
BUT FOR THE SKI AREA’S BOTTOM LINE.>>RUNNING A SKI AREA,
ESPECIALLY ONE THAT IS A FOUR SEASONS RESORT WITH ALL THE
SUMMER ACTIVITIES THAT WE HAVE REQUIRES A LOT OF ELECTRIC
ENERGY. IT IS ABOUT
1.5 MILLION KILOWATTS OF ELECTRICITY NEEDED PER YEAR. THE QUESTION ALWAYS COMES AS
IS THERE ENOUGH POWER FROM THESE TWO SOURCES TO POWER THE
SKI AREA AND THE ANSWER IS YES. ON A YEARLY BASIS, WE PRODUCE
MORE POWER THAN WE CONSUME AND THE REST IS SOLD TO PIONEER
CUSTOMERS IN THE VALLEY.>>WE TAKE THE EDUCATIONAL
COMPONENT OF THIS VERY SERIOUSLY AND INVITE
ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS, ALL THE WAY THROUGH COLLEGES, STUDENTS
AND TEACHERS, TO COME UP AND TOUR AND TO VISIT BOTH OF THE
SITES, THEIR GUIDED TOURS TO BASICALLY SEE THE FACILITIES,
HAVE A DISCUSSION, ASK QUESTIONS. ARE WE GETTING ANY PHOTONS
NOW? OF COURSE WE ARE. HOW ABOUT ON A CLOUDY DAY? YEAH, THERE’S PHOTONS COMING
THROUGH. AS LONG AS YOU CAN SEE,
THERE’S PHOTONS COMING THROUGH.>>WELL, THE BERKSHIRES EAST
HAS THE SOLAR FIELD AND THE PUSH BIN. THERE ARE DAYS WHEN THE WIND
IS BLOWING 12 MILES PER HOUR AND THE TURBINE CAN’T GENERATE
ELECTRICITY AND YET THE SOLAR FIELD DOES SO THEY HAVE A
SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP WITH EACH OTHER. HAD WE NOT STARTED THIS
PROCESS ABOUT A DECADE AGO, HAD WE NOT HAD THE SOLAR OR
THE TURBINE FIELDS, WHAT WOULD THE LIKELIHOOD OF IT BEING
ABLE TO SUSTAIN ITSELF BE? AND THE QUESTION IS I DON’T
THINK IT COULD. THERE ARE OTHER AREAS THAT ARE
STILL GOING UNDER OR UP FOR SALE NOW THAT DIDN’T LOOK INTO
RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES. WHEN YOU SEE A WIND TURBINE,
YOU CAN SEE THAT FOR MILES. YOU CAN SEE IT FROM WESTERN
MASS, MOUNT GRAYLOCK AND THIS HAS A VISUAL RESULT IN THE
CITY. YOU LOOK UP AND IT IS ALWAYS
THERE. DOES IT GIVE OFF POLLUTION? IS IT DISCONCERTING TO SOME IN
THE COMMUNITY? THE ANSWER IS FOR SOME, IT IS. BUT FOR MYSELF, THE WIND
TURBINE SYMBOLIZES THE RESPONSIBILITY THAT THE
COMMUNITY HAS TOWARD BEING ABLE TO PROVIDE ENERGY FOR THE
FUTURE WET PUTTING CARBON DIOXIDE OR SULFURIC ACID INTO
THE ATMOSPHERE AND NOT BURNING FOSSIL FUELS. SO IT LOOKS NOW LIKE MAYBE WE
LOOK AT RENEWABLE ENERGY AS BEING ALTERNATIVE ENERGY BUT I
BELIEVE, AND MAYBE NOT IN MY LIFETIME BUT MY CHILDREN AND
GRANDCHILDREN’S LIFETIME, THESE MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED
ALTERNATIVE ENERGY RESOURCES.>>>E-SPORTS ARE BIG BUSINESS. HOW BIG? NEWZOO SAYS THE COMPETITIVE
GAMING INDUSTRY KNOWN AS E-SPORTS WILL GROWN TO MORE
THAN $1 BILLION BY 2019. BECKER COLLEGE IN WORCESTER IS
THE FIRST IN THE COUNTRY TO OFFER A NEW MAJOR TIED TO
PROFESSIONAL GAMING. WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT? TIM LOEW AND VAUGHN CALHOUN
EXPLAIN HOW IT WILL WORK.

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