Pennsylvania Goes Wind Crazy, But Will It Last?

Pennsylvania will soon see 141 megawatts (MW) of clean energy projects deployed in the state with the help of state funds. The Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) has awarded nearly $13.8 million in grants and loans to six renewable energy projects, including the 139.4-MW Twin Ridges Wind Farm, which upon completion will be one of the largest wind farms in the state. Combined, the projects will generate more than 423,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy annually—enough to power more than 44,000 Pennsylvania homes, or every household in the cities of Erie or Reading.

The Twin Ridges Wind Farm in Somerset County, being developed by New York City-based EverPower Wind Holdings, received a $12.7 million Renewable Energy Program construction grant. The grant is the largest ever awarded by the program, which has also provided grants to the 30-MW Patton Wind Farm in Cambria County and enXco’s 38-MW Chestnut Flats Wind Farm in Blair County. Once completed, Twin Ridges will generate 20 percent of Pennsylvania’s wind power.

greenmountain-wind

image via DOE/NREL

The $238.8 million project is expected to generate an additional $226.2 million in private economic investment, and is expected to be operational by the end of 2012.

In addition to Twin Ridges, funded projects include a ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) array in Chester County, a solar thermal system for the Franklin County YMCA, two residential geothermal systems, and a high-performance building project in Bucks County, among others. The entire list of projects funded through the program can be found here.

According to Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary C. Alan Walker, the projects are expected to spur more than $231.7 million in private investment for the state. “These investments will result in substantial energy savings for businesses, families, municipalities and schools that use renewable technologies,” Walker said. “These new projects will help make the development and deployment of solar, wind and renewable energy technology more affordable across Pennsylvania.”

Lauren Craig is a writer and consultant living in Seattle, WA. She holds an M.S. in International Development from Tulane University, and is co-founder of Sustainable Systems Integrators, LLC., an employee-owned solar energy design and installation firm in New Orleans, LA. She is also certified in PV design and installation by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).