GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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March 26, 2013

Wind turbines to be focus of Thursday forum

Since their October and November installations, the three giant wind turbines turning daily in Blackburn Industrial Park have become a familiar part of the Gloucester landscape.

Thursday night, the city’s Sawyer Free Library and the Gloucester Lyceum will host a workshop that aims to tell “everything you wanted to know and now can” about the turbines, how they work, and what they mean to Gloucester, its residents and the businesses that are utilizing them.

The presentation, called “Wind Turbines 101,” is set for Thursday at 7 p.m. on the library’s main floor, with discussion and a question-and-answer session.

The panel, to be moderated by Gloucester Ward 1 City Councilor Paul McGeary, will include Mayor Carolyn Kirk, Rick Johnson, the facilites manager at Varian/Applied Materials and the Varian turbine project manager, Tim Michelman of Boreal, who will present turbine study highlights, and Sumul Shah, the CEO of Sloaya Energy, who will discus turbine construction and operation.

The Gloucester turbines include one that operates solely for Varian Semiconductors/Applied Materials and two others on the Gloucester Engineering site.

One of the turbines on the Gloucester Engineering also produces power shared by the city of Gloucester, with a savings projected at more than $200,000 for the current fiscal year that ends in January, and of more than $400,000 on an annual basis.

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