New wind turbine at O’Maley Middle School, Gloucester

Hearty congratulations are in order!  The long-held vision of siting a small vertical axis wind turbine atop the O’Maley Middle School roof has become a happy reality., in large part due to the determination, hard work and sheer grit of a dedicated group of O’Maley science students and their teachers Amy Donnelly and David Brown. Through their efforts over the past several years, the benefits of this wind turbine project, both in terms of saved energy and educational value, became clear to more and more members of the community and support grew.  The Gloucester Education Foundation, the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation, the Moore Family Foundation,  Geoffrey E. Richon Company, and J&L Welding and Machine, Inc. and many other caring people made this project happen, and in mid- December on one  cold and windy day, the 1.2 kw turbine was installed.

On January 25th, a well-attended Wind Turbine Dedication event was held to celebrate.  While enjoying delicious light refreshments served by hospitable O’Maley students, guests were able to monitor wind conditions and production of energy in real time indoors by watching the monitoring equipment situated in the Commons area.  O’Maley’s location is a naturally windy one, and the turbine had already generated 85.7 kw since it’s installation!  Yet this energy powerhouse is barely visible against the sky, and it is virtually silent.

Speakers included Debra Lucey, Principal of the O’Maley Middle School, Dr. Richard Safier, Superintendent of the Gloucester Public Schools, Maggie Rosa, President of the Gloucester Education Foundation,  science teachers Amy Donnelly and David Brown, and Senator Bruce Tarr presented several well-deserved Massachusetts Senate certificates of recognition. .Dedicated O’Maley students also spoke about the project, showed a fascinating video presentation of the turbine installation from start to finish,  and did the ribbon-cutting honors.

This far-reaching accomplishment was achieved through O’Maley’s  Birdseye Hammond Lab for Science, Technology and Engineering, auspiciously named for two re-knowned inventors who called Gloucester home.  We will undoubtedly be seeing more exciting developments from the Lab and its inventors of the future.

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