Campus Energy Projects

A Co-ed College Featuring Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)

A public, four year, Co-ed college, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) in Buzzards Bay is the nation’s largest state maritime academy with an enrollment of over 1,300 men and women. The undergraduate curriculum at MMA consists of seven Bachelor of Science majors, three of which have an engineering focus. MMA engineering students make up 53% of the undergraduate student population and 66% of the graduate student population.

The engineering curriculum includes systems engineering, electricity and electronics, auxiliaries and main propulsion machinery, and the organization and operation of merchant vessel and shore based engineering plants. In addition, students study preventative maintenance, gain practical experience aboard ship in port and on the high seas, and work in laboratories to learn other skills in a variety of closely connected fields. The Academy also has a large, ocean-going training ship on loan from the Maritime Administration. The 540’ T.S. Kennedy was converted to a public nautical schoolship in 2003 and is capable of carrying 600 cadets on required sea terms.

Students may also choose Energy Systems Engineering major which focuses on alternative and renewable energy. Hands-on training is provided at various campus laboratories and on-site generation facilities that utilize green/renewable energy including a commercial wind turbine, photovoltaic arrays, cogeneration units, a vertical axis wind turbine and a geo-thermal installation. Future plans include a hydrokinetic turbine and nuclear power simulators.

Cogeneration Power Station

A thermodynamically efficient use of fuel, our combined heat and power microturbines (CHP) simultaneously generate both electricity and useful heat for student dormitories. The use of this decentralized on-site power generation technology turns ‘waste heat’ into valuable usable energy.

Wind Turbine

Standing 242 feet tall, the MMA 660 kilowatt Vestas wind turbine has significantly reduced the need to purchase grid power energy by 27%. The turbine has also been used extensively as an educational tool for students and other professionals interested in renewable energy.

Photovoltaic Array

MMA is tapping into New England sunshine for a portion of its power needs, thanks to our roof mounted solar photovoltaic system. It consists of 450 Evergreen solar panels that sit on top of a portion of the student dormitories.

MMA Solar Panel

Solar Path Lighting

The 62 solar pathway and parking lot lights, powered by photovoltaic (PV) panels, are completely independent of the electric grid. These solar powered light posts can easily be installed wherever light is needed, without expensive investments in trenching, cabling and repaving.

Artificial Athletic Fields


Saving over 1-million gallons of water per year, the artificial fields are a low maintenance option that eliminates the use and spread of pesticides into the earth’s ecosystem.

Solar Trash Compactor

Instead of requiring a grid connection, MMA’s solar trash compactor is completely self-powered, using solar power for 100% of its energy needs, reducing trash pickup by 75%.

Geothermal Heating & Cooling

48 geothermal wells use the natural heat storage capacity of the earth’s ground water to provide energy efficient heating and cooling for the new $23M American Bureau of Shipping Information Commons.

Basic Principles of Nuclear Power Simulator

A nuclear power simulator illustrates general concepts, demonstrating and displaying the fundamental physical process of a nuclear plant and steam cycle. The main goals of using a basic principle simulator are to help our engineering students understand the fundamental physical processes, operation of complex systems, and the overall operation of a nuclear power plant.

  1. normal startup, operation, and shutdown
  2. response to plant transient, abnormal, and emergencies
  3. plant and industry operating experience
  4. re-enforcement of theory and fundamentals
  5. teamwork, communications, and diagnostics


Cape Cod Canal “Maritime Pier”

This pier will meet US Dept. of Energy’s criteria for marine hydrokinetic turbine’s Test Readiness Levels (TRL) 4 to 7. The pier structure is approximately 750 linear feet pier will extend approximately 250 feet perpendicular to the shore then turns 105 degrees to extend approximately 500 feet parallel to training ship T.S. Kennedy berth. The 750 foot long pier will include a deployment and recovery system to launch, test, and demonstrate multiple hydrokinetic turbines. The pier will have a unique wave screen to harness tidal currents by directing and generating additional speed for power generation. The project would provide:

  1. Opportunity to harness 5.2+ mph canal tidal current for hydrokinetic turbines.
  2. Innovative design to direct tidal currents by generating additional flow to turbines.
  3. Safe and protected facility to test, demonstrate, and study turbines.
  4. Floating inside docks to support offshore test barges and support vessels.
  5. 20’ wide pier to support crane, fuel, pump out truck service. 

Hydrokinetic Testing and Training Facility

Massachusetts Maritime Academy has the unique advantage of being located on the Cape Cod Canal, the world’s widest sea-level canal measuring 480 feet across, approximately 7 miles long, and has a minimum depth of 35 feet. The swift running canal current changes direction every six hours and can reach a maximum velocity of 5.2 miles per hour during the ebb (westerly) tide. The canal has been identified as having an abundance of hydrokinetic energy sources that are available 24/7 and is near population demand. Cape Cod Hydrokinetic Facility for demonstration, testing, and training today’s workforce Contact Admiral Rick Gurnon President Massachusetts Maritime Academy 508-830-5001 /

The advantages are:

  1. Feasibility study for new hydrokinetic power systems.
  2. Demonstrating hydrokinetic systems to local towns and municipalities.
  3. Practical training for engineering students, facility managers, and local workforce.
  4. Developing new alternative energy careers for students.
  5. Reducing traditional fossil fuel consumption.
  6. Reducing energy cost to taxpayers.