GreenMountain.com Announces Ground Broken on Green Mountain Wind Farm
GARRETT, PA — Dec. 1, 1999 — GreenMountain.com today made renewable energy history. Thanks to Green Mountain EnergySM customers, construction began today on the largest wind powered generation facility in Pennsylvania and one of the largest in the eastern U.S.
The $10 million, 10.4 megawatt facility — to be known as the Green Mountain Wind Farm — is located on privately owned land in Garrett, Pennsylvania, which for years was strip-mined for coal and still contains a 100-foot high inoperable, rusting coal drag line.
"Nothing gives us more pleasure than developing new sources of renewable power," said Dennis Kelly, president and CEO of GreenMountain.com. "For decades this land was strip-mined for coal to produce electricity. Today, we are helping to reclaim that site by using wind. What could be a better description of GreenMountain.com's mission?"
The Green Mountain Wind Farm will produce about 25 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) each year, enough energy to power 2,500 Pennsylvania homes. The wind farm will consist of eight, 200-foot high wind turbines, each with three 95-foot blades.
Pennsylvania officials hailed the development.
"Pennsylvania has shown it knows how to make electricity markets work," said James M. Seif, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. "With this wind facility, GreenMountain.com is showing that markets can work for the environment."
Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Chairman John M. Quain said: "Thanks to the success of Pennsylvania's Electric Choice program, energy customers are helping to build new renewable generation sources like the Green Mountain Wind Farm."
Renewable energy advocates praised the ground breaking.
Jeff Schmidt, the Sierra Club's representative to the Mid-Atlantic Green-e advisory committee, said: "The development of Pennsylvania's first wind farm is an important step towards building a renewable energy future. With more investments in wind and solar energy like this, we can offer consumers an alternative to the fossil fuel/nuclear monopolies."
Windmills have been in use for centuries, but recently wind turbines have become the fastest-growing energy resource in the world. By July 1999, the nation's wind capacity jumped 50 percent in 18 months. Wind energy costs have dropped nearly 100 percent since the 1980s.
Completion of the project is scheduled for April 22, 2000 Earth Day.
When fully operational, the wind farm will reduce as much air pollution in one year as planting 2,350,000 trees or taking 3,400 cars off the road.
Expert consultants who conducted an avian risk assessment found minimal threat to local bird populations from the wind turbines.
The groundbreaking will be followed by gala celebrations Wednesday in Pittsburgh and Thursday in Philadelphia. GreenMountain.com customers and the public are invited to the celebrations, taking place at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh and the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.
GreenMountain.com, which markets and sells renewable energy to more than 60,000 Pennsylvania customers, will purchase the output of the wind turbines to serve those customers.
Distributed Generation Systems, Inc. (Disgen), of Evergreen, Colorado is the developer of the project. This effort has included securing the site, working with the local community, assessment of environmental impacts and other preconstruction activities.
American National Wind Power, Inc., will own and operate the turbines once constructed. The company is an affiliate of National Wind Power Ltd, of the United Kingdom and American National Power, of Texas.
This project is a direct result of Pennsylvania's successful deregulation of the state's electric utility industry. Deregulation has allowed Pennsylvania electric consumers to choose where to buy their power. GreenMountain.com's customers are changing the way power is made buy buying cleaner energy.
GMER Contact: Kevin Ellis of GreenMountain.com, 802-229-4900
GreenMountain.com is the nation's leading retailer of environmentally cleaner electricity to America's homes through its Green Mountain Energysm brand. Green Mountain Energysm products feature cleaner and renewable generation sources in California and Pennsylvania. For more information, visit our Web site at www.greenmountain.com or
[Editor's Note: GreenMountain.com (GMTN) and its Green Mountain Energysm brand are not affiliated with Green Mountain Power Corporation (GMP).]