Steel Winds Project Achieves Full Commercial Operations

UPC Wind and its partner BQ Energy today announced the start of full commercial operations at the Steel Winds Wind Farm, marking the first commercial deployment of Clipper Windpower’s 2.5-megawatt (MW) Liberty series wind turbines. Renewable energy certificates (RECs) from the 20-MW site will be sold to Constellation NewEnergy.

Located on a former industrial site along the shores of Lake Erie, in Lackawanna just south of Buffalo, New York, the wind farm is situated on a 30-acre portion of the former Bethlehem Steel facility, which is being returned to productive use under the New York Department of Environmental Conservation Brownfield Cleanup Program.

“Where Bethlehem Steel once supported an earlier industrial revolution, today the Steel Winds project is bringing new jobs and clean energy technology to the Lake Erie region,” said Paul Gaynor, President and CEO of UPC Wind. “We are pleased to be operating at full capacity and introducing this newest generation of wind turbines to the market.”

The Clipper 2.5 MW Liberty wind turbine is the first wind turbine to use a patented, distributed powertrain and four permanent magnet generators to mitigate loads to components found in many of today’s multi-megawatt wind turbine designs. Manufactured in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, it is among the largest land-based wind turbines in the world, and the largest wind turbine manufactured in North America.

The 20-MW Steel Winds project will be operated by UPC Wind, with turbine operation and maintenance services provided by Clipper Windpower for the first five years. UPC Wind has partnered with BQ Energy to produce and sell clean energy, capacity and RECs to energy retailer Constellation NewEnergy through 2009.

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