Wind Energy Brings Power to the People in Pennsylvania

Due to a $193,000 grant awarded to Southwest Windpower from the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority (PEDA), Governor Edward G. Rendell announced that 15 Pennsylvania counties can now install small, advanced- technology wind turbines in highly visible locations at schools, local government buildings and other public facilities.

“This Small Wind Energy Project will bring these new sources of power into peoples’ daily lives,” said Governor Rendell, who recently reinstated PEDA. Each grant application for turbines, which was required to include plans for educational outreach, are from sites in diverse demographic areas spread across the commonwealth, and will generate enough electricity to power a typical residence. While the units are valued at $10,000 each, successful applicants are receiving one of the Southwest Windpower small-scale wind systems and basic installation at no charge. The wind energy systems, to be mounted in the ground on 35-foot towers, will each generate 1.8 kilowatts (kW) of electricity. In Pennsylvania, with 153 megawatts (MW) currently providing enough clean energy to power 70,000 homes, there is more than 5,000 MW of untapped wind power in the state, states the release, with the potential to generate 45 billion kilowatt-hours annually, or enough electricity to power more than 5 million homes. Due in large part to Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard, one of the most progressive in the nation, 18 percent of all retail electricity generated by 2020 comes from clean, efficient and advanced resources. Plus, the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard will create the demand for more than 3,000 MW of wind energy over the next 15 years. Part of the demand for wind energy will be met through the efforts of Spanish wind-energy company Gamesa Corp., which chose Pennsylvania as its base in North America. Gamesa, the second largest wind energy company in the world, increased its investment in the commonwealth to more than $84 million earlier this year, including manufacturing facilities in Bucks and Cambria counties. Over five years, it is expected Gamesa will create as many as 1,000 jobs in the commonwealth. “This project to bring alternative energy to the grassroots level will propel the emerging markets even further,” said the Governor.
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