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Utility eyes possible wind project on Mount Tom

By Associated Press
Wednesday, March 18, 2009

HOLYOKE — A municipal utility has agreed to purchase 270 acres on Mount Tom for $1.9 million and may use a portion of it for a wind energy project.

Holyoke Gas & Electric said Tuesday that most of the land would be placed in permanent conservation, but a small part could be used for wind power or as a site for telecommunications equipment.

The state had originally planned to buy the land from Springfield Towers LLC.

Mount Tom, which rises 1,200 feet from the Connecticut River Valley, is no stranger to wind power. Engineering students from the University of Massachusetts helped build an 80-foot high windmill in 1994 to generate power for a now-defunct ski area, but the turbine had difficulty coping with the strong wind gusts atop the mountain in winter.