The 2 megawatt wind-energy generator just erected at Fall River’s Philips Lightolier manufacturing facility is projected to fill up to 70 percent of the electricity needs of the plant, which manufactures fluorescent lighting and lighting systems.
The turbine represents an investment in excess of $4 million by Philips. But it could not have been completed without an additional $540,000 in grants from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, and as such, it stands as a testament to the positive outcomes that public investment can have.
As Mass. Gov. Deval L. Patrick noted at the windmill’s dedication, the Lightolier turbine helps the state get out from under the grip of volatile fossil-fuel prices while helping it develop a renewable energy sector and grow jobs.
Rhode Island has made similar investments (including for the Portsmouth High School wind turbine), but it is important to note that the state is still a long way off from being big player in the industry. The potential for more growth is great, as is the challenge to continue investing in a sustainable future. •