The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

New Wind Farm Is Nation's Largest, Means More Clean Energy, Jobs

Last week marked the opening of the largest wind farm in the U.S. -- a site that will power 235,000 homes. The Shepherds Flat Wind Farm near Arlington, Ore., is a just the latest example of our nation's clean energy industry powering our homes, businesses, and economy.

Work on the Shepherds Flat project began in 2009 and brought with it more than 400 construction jobs. The Shepherds Flat project will continue to provide 45 full-time jobs for Oregon's Gilliam and Morrow Counties, in addition to agricultural jobs that will continue on the farmland at the project site.

The cherry on top is that the Shepherds Flat turbines were built by an American manufacturer and installed by American workers. And because this wind project is sited on previously-disturbed and actively-used farmland near existing transmission lines, the project will have lower impacts on local wildlife.

As someone who spends the vast majority of my time battling coal pollution, it is inspiring and exciting to see clean energy continue to grow and replace the dirty fossil fuels that are making Americans sick and pushing our climate to the brink. This massive wind farm is just one of dozens of clean energy projects that have gone onto the grid in 2012, which is shaping up to be a record year for clean energy, as coal use has dropped to record lows. 

Nationwide, wind energy capacity has doubled since 2008 and now generates more than 50,000 megawatts, enough to power 13 million homes. By way of comparison, the total coal retirements announced since January 2010 equal 45,000 megawatts. 

Unfortunately, gridlock in Congress threatens to bring this progress to a screeching halt, not to mention putting 75,000 American wind industry jobs at risk. Congress needs to renew the Production Tax Credit for wind, and its dithering and delay has already resulted in thousands of layoffs in the crucial manufacturing sector.

At a time when we hear story after story about wind companies laying off workers, we need Congress to take action to help save and create more jobs in the wind industry. When we've got federal and state policies helping create such a powerful economic clean energy boom in the U.S., why would Congress let it die?

Even beyond the jobs, wind farms like Shepherds Flat are meeting energy demand that would otherwise have required power plants to burn dirty fossil fuels like coal, releasing toxic pollutants into our air and water and poisoning our communities.

According to estimates from the developers, power generated at the Shepherds Flat wind farm will avoid about 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted per year, roughly equivalent to the emissions from 260,000 passenger vehicles.

This new wind farm opening is emboldening -- our nation can transition away from fossil fuels and power our communities with clean energy that creates jobs. Let's keep up the progress by renewing the wind production tax credit.

This article was originally published on Huffington Post and was republished with permission.

Lead image: Wind turbines via Shutterstock

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

6 Things Every American Should Know About the Clean Power Plan

6 Things Every American Should Know About the Clean Power Plan

Duke Renewables Acquires 50-MW of California Solar Projects

Andrew Burger Duke Energy Renewables is expanding its investment portfolio, on July 28 announcing the acquisition of two utility-scale PV projects in California. Acquisition of the 20-MW Seville I and 30-MW Seville II power plants from K...

The Future of Renewable Power in Mexico

Daniel Chavez The abundance of diverse renewable energy resources, growing demand for power, macroeconomic stability, and historically high electricity prices continue to position Mexico as one of the most attractive destinations for inv...

Fresh blow for wind power in Australia

Diarmaid Williams

Another blow has been dealt to the wind power industry in Australia with the news that a Senate committee has advocated new limits to the subsidization of the technology.

Mary Anne Hitt is director of the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign, which is working to eliminate coal's contribution to global warming and repower the nation with clean energy.

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Doing Business in South Africa – in partnership with GWEC, the Glob...

Wind Energy in South Africa has been expanding dramatically, growing fro...

2015 AREDAY Summit

The 12th Annual AREDAY Summit, August 8-13th in Snowmass Colorado. Engag...

StartUp Green

AREI, American Renewable Energy Institute, in partnership with ...

COMPANY BLOGS

Clean Energy Patents Maintain High Levels in First Quarter, Solar L...

U.S. patents for Clean Energy technologies from the first quarter of 201...

Koch Professor drops his Koch title, still makes same errors plus s...

The Koch Professor’s title isn’t the only thing that’s...

Fact Check: AWEA represents American wind power

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is proud of its members for ...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS