Consumer Guide for Small Wind Power

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty is promoting an informational guide now available to consumers who may be considering installing small wind energy systems at their home or small business. “Small Wind Electric Systems – A Pennsylvania Consumer’s Guide” answers basic questions on wind energy generation and can help someone decide if wind energy will work for them.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – September 9, 2003 [] The guide will help answer questions such as “Is wind energy practical for me?” and “What do wind systems cost?” and “How much energy will my system generate?” The guide includes a glossary; descriptions of how wind turbines work, and a listing of sources for more information, including websites. Produced by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the guide also includes a listing of potential funding sources. “Wind energy systems are one of the most cost-effective home-based renewable energy systems available for individuals,” Secretary McGinty said. “The recent blackout in parts of Canada and portions of America’s Midwest and Northeast, including Pennsylvania, spotlighted the need to increase our efforts to improve energy security and technology across the United States. Small wind electric systems can make a significant contribution to our energy needs.” The Rendell administration has already launched some major initiatives to build a clean, indigenous, diversified energy industry in the state by encouraging clean and renewable energy projects that will have real and measurable impacts on pollution reduction, environmental quality and energy generation. The administration recently unveiled Pennsylvania Energy Harvest, a US$5 million initiative that will help to improve air quality, preserve land and protect local watersheds while providing economic opportunities by making Pennsylvania a leader in innovative energy generation systems. The deadline for applying for an Energy Harvest grant is September 19. The Rendell administration also doubled the state’s commitment to “green” power. The state has set out to meet 10 percent of its energy needs with energy sources such as biomass, wind, solar, small-scale hydroelectric, landfill methane, coal-bed methane and waste coal, all of which offer tremendous environmental benefits while improving energy distribution in Pennsylvania. Wind farms in the state produce 35 MW of electricity – enough to power about 10,000 homes – with another 110 MW coming on line within the next year.
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