See renewable and energy conservation programs at work!
See wind power at work
Wind turbines are now becoming a common sight in Massachusetts. Here are some that are easy to visit.
- The town of Hull on the South Shore is a national leader in coastal wind energy development. It has two large-scale turbines plus a residential-size turbine at the Weir River Estuary Nature Center. The 1.8 megawatt Hull 2 is the largest in the state. The 164-feet Hull 1 stands at the tip of Hull; the most spectacular view is from a Boston Harbor Islands ferry.
- Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort in Hancock generates one third of all its electricity needs from Zephyr, a 253-foot-tall, 1.5 megawatt turbine on the side of the mountain. Tours are conducted May through mid-October; advance reservations are required.
- On Cape Cod, Hyannis Country Garden has a 100 kilowatt turbine that produces 92% of the electricity for the garden center.
- For wind power on a smaller scale, head to Red Apple Farm in Phillipston. Check out the 50-foot, 15 kilowatt turbine, then stay to pick your own fruit, take a fall hay ride, and visit the chickens and the rabbits.
See solar power at work
Mass Audubon has installed solar arrays at 10 of its wildlife sanctuaries, solar thermal systems at 4 of its sanctuaries, and 13 additional solar systems are being installed in 2010. Many of the sanctuaries’ nature centers have self-guided tours. Visit Drumlin Farm in Lincoln and you’ll see how it generates electricity from the sun and re-uses rain water to irrigate its gardens. Plus, see a fun, sun-powered kinetic sculpture. Take a self-guided tour of the LEED-certified Nature Center at Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary. Mass Audubon also has lots of great events about sustainability.
The City of Brockton converted a disused industrial site into the nation’s largest solar energy plant in New England. At the Brockton Brightfield you can learn about how photovoltaic solar energy works, view real-time data on the electricity being generated at the site, and touch a solar panel. Brockton Brightfield generates enought power for 70 homes.
See a Green roof grow
Green roofs are covered in low-maintenance plants; they reduce water run-off, save energy, and improve air quality. You can see a Green roof at the Boston Children’s Museum, Massachusetts’ first Green museum and the recipient of LEED Gold certification. You’ll also see Green features throughout the museum.