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Tuesday, May 8 • 8:00am - 5:00pm
POSTER: Windmill Suitability Analysis of Boston's North Shore From a Planning Perspective

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AUTHORS: David Heacock, Salem State University

ABSTRACT: Shifting away from fossil fuel to green energy sources has been an area of interest of Massachusetts towns for years, with the state's Clean Energy Center having earmarked millions of dollars to support commercial and institutional renewable energy development. Strong coastal winds make the region particularly eligible for wind power investment, however, many projects have folded because of various planning conflicts ranging from insufficient space for setback from nearby residences, to environmental concerns, and fear of indirect economic losses due to visual degradation of tourist areas. This study harnesses GIS as a tool to mitigate these conflicts in order to identify areas that are particularly suitable for windmills from a planning perspective. This is performed by creating buffer layers based on criteria from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, historic examples provided by area town planning directors, and industry guidelines, with an output categorized by wind speed as an added dimension. The study found the approach to be effective and had a high success rate in classifying existing windmills in its study area. The method shows promise as an alternative to the more common engineering approach to determining windmill suitability, and could be integrated to produce analyses that are more inclusionary of residential and municipal dynamics.

Tuesday May 8, 2018 8:00am - 5:00pm EDT
Laurel/McHugh Hall First Floor

Attendees (1)