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Feature Articles:

Earth Day 2000: Launch of the Earth Day Network

A Powerful Tool for Sustainable Development

The Costs Of Auto Transportation High. . . & Subsidized By Non-Drivers

Your Personal Smog Alert

Wind Energy Surges Forward

Opportunities In Nonpoint Source Regulation


  Wind Energy Surges Forward

The largest wind turbines ever erected in North America have just gone online in Texas in the first phase of a $40 million project that provides 117 million kilowatt-hours of green power annually. It features 46 wind turbines reaching as high as 370 feet with rotors more thanCustomers have requested clean low-cost green power, and are getting it. 216 feet in diameter.

Impetus for the project came from the overwhelming support by Texas Utilities customers for renewable energy. When asked in a survey whether their local utility should invest in renewables, 96 percent of Texas Utilities customers said yes. By a 10 to 1 margin, those same customers said they would be willing to pay at least one dollar more per month for energy from renewable energy sources such as wind power.

"Customers have requested clean, low-cost green power, and are getting it," said Randall Swisher, executive director of the American Wind Energy Association. "The largest turbines in the U.S. and North America are part of a surge in wind power's growth across the U.S. . . . People understand that (wind) is a clean, sustainable energy resource that benefits the local economy without harming the environment."

During this same period:

  • The world's largest single wind power generation facility was dedicated in the Midwest plains near Lake Benton, Minnesota. Electricity generated by this wind facility is sufficient to power 43,000 homes and will displace greenhouse gasses equivalent to removing 50,000 new cars and light trucks from the road.

  • The Vansycle Ridge Wind Farm, the first new commercial wind energy facility to be built in the Pacific Northwest in more than a decade, has gone online and is now bringing green power to more than 6,000 homes and businesses. The Vansycle Ridge Wind Farm consists of 38 wind turbines spanning 2 1/2 miles and occupying almost 8 acres. "By applying lessons learned from earlier wind projects, we've created a renewable electric energy facility that will have minimal effect on the environment," according to Michael Yackira, president of project sponsor FPL Energy.

For more information
A fact sheet, Views on the Environment, Clean and Green Wind Energy, is available at http://www.igc.apc.org/awea/pol/opposum.html.

Further information on wind energy is available at http://www.econet.org/awea.
 


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