Pennsylvania to Build Largest Wind Farm in Eastern U.S.

A ridge of pastureland southeast of Pittsburgh will be the site for the largest wind energy facility in the eastern United States.

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania, US, 2001-03-15 <> The 15 megawatt wind farm will be built in Fayette County, located in Springfield and Stewart Townships, near Mill Run in the Allegheny Mountains. The announcement was made Wednesday by a consortium of private companies, non-profit groups and public agencies, including Community Energy, the Exelon Power Team, Atlantic Renewable Energy Corporation, Zilkha Renewable Energy, the TRF Sustainable Development Fund and the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition. “This is just the beginning of a new era in energy for the region,” says 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.” The Mill Run Wind project represents the first entry by an established electric utility company into the wind power market in Pennsylvania. The wind farm will generate electricity for 5,700 homes and will be built by Mill Run Windpower LLC, a joint venture between local wind developer Atlantic Renewable Energy and Zilkha Renewable Energy of Texas. “This project is exciting for Pennsylvania,” says James Seif, the state Secretary of Environmental Protection. “It confirms that what’s good for the environment is also good for the economy. The wind farm will bring vitally needed jobs and tax revenue to a rural area and, at the same time, deliver clean affordable homegrown energy to Pennsylvanians who choose it. It is a win-win for all.” Groundbreaking will take place this spring. The facility will consist of ten new 1.5 MW turbines from Enron Wind of California. When commissioned, the Mill Run project will be larger than the wind farm in Garrett, Somerset County, which was finished last May and has capacity of 10.4 MW. Exelon will buy the facility’s output for 20 years and will manage the wholesale delivery of the wind energy to the power grid for resale. Community Energy, a green electricity marketing company based in Wayne, 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 (TRF) 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 exciting wind energy project is yet one more example of how Pennsylvania ‘got it right’ in making the move to ElectriChoice,” explains Nora Mead Brownell with the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission. “We are determined to create a stable and secure electricity market place with more choices and lower prices for consumers. This project goes a long way to making that market a reality.” The Reinvestment Fund was entrusted by the PUC and a group of environmental organizations to manage the $32 million Sustainable Development Fund to promote a sustainable energy future in southeastern Pennsylvania. “We are pleased to be able to bring this new industry to Fayette County, and to offer land owners an additional source of income from their land,” adds Sam Enfield of Atlantic Renewable Energy and project manager of the Mill Run project. “We are also pleased to be able to provide clean and economical energy to Exelon Power Team during these times of national energy supply concerns.”

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