Western Pa. home to new wind farm

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Representatives of a consortium of private companies, non-profit organizations and public agencies announced they will build a new 15-megawatt wind farm in Fayette County, Pa.

Wind farm location.

The wind farm will be built along more than a mile of ridge-top pastureland, ranging in elevation between 2700 and 2900 feet, and located in Springfield and Stewart townships, near Mill Run, about 40 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

The Mill Run Wind Project will create enough clean energy to power about 5,700 homes.

The state-of-the-art project is being built by Mill Run Windpower LLC, a joint venture between Atlantic Renewable Energy Corporation, a local wind energy developer and Zilkha Renewable Energy, a Texas-based developer and builder of wind power plants worldwide.

Companies involved.

The Exelon Power Team, the wholesale power marketing division of Exelon Generation, has agreed to buy the output of the wind farm for 20 years and will manage the wholesale delivery of the wind energy to the power grid for resale.

With that agreement in place, Community Energy, a green electricity marketing company headquartered in Wayne, Pa., will market the green power to commercial and residential customers at lower prices than could be charged without the long-term commitment.

The project is supported by wind energy production incentive financing from the TRF Sustainable Development Fund, a fund devoted to renewable and clean energy projects administered by The Reinvestment Fund in Philadelphia.

The Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition, through its Pennsylvania Wind Campaign, is providing education to the public about Pennsylvania’s renewable energy choices.

“This is just the beginning of a new era in energy for the region,” said Brent Alderfer, president of Community Energy.

“The historic public-private partnership that launched this project means we can bring clean, affordable energy to the residential and commercial customers who are clamoring for it.

“And we expect to build on this success, bringing more of the best renewable energy technology for customers throughout the region in the coming years.”

It’s a first.

Alderfer also noted that this project represents the first entry by an established electric utility company into the wind power market in Pennsylvania.

The Reinvestment Fund was entrusted by the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission and a group of environmental organizations to manage the $32 million Sustainable Development Fund to promote a sustainable energy future in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Groundbreaking for the Mill Run wind farm, in the heart of the Allegheny Mountains, will take place later this spring. Once built, the power plant will consist of 10 new 1.5-megawatt turbines, to be supplied by California-based Enron Wind Corporation.

The turbines will sit on towers 213 feet tall and have a rotor diameter of 231 feet. The Mill Run project will be the largest wind farm in the Eastern United States to date.

The next largest wind farm in Pennsylvania, in Garrett (Somerset County), went online in May 2000 and is a 10.4 MW power plant, making enough electricity to power 2500 households.

Makes economic sense.

Wind energy is the world’s fastest growing form of electricity generation, meeting the growing demand for clean renewable energy. Wind turbines generate electricity with no emissions and no fuel at prices slightly above current generation costs.

In addition to the environmental benefits, wind generation can offer stable 20-year prices because it is not subject to fuel price risks. Longer-term contracts offer the best price.

Many analysts have pinpointed short-term contracts and skyrocketing fuel prices as key components to the dramatic collapse of electricity deregulation in California.

More information about the Mill Run wind farm is available on the Web at www.newwindenergy.com.



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