Steel Winds Project Achieves Full Commercial Operations
UPC Wind, a leading North American wind power company, and its partner BQ Energy, today announced the start of full commercial operations at the Steel Winds Wind Farm, which is located on a former industrial site along the shores of Lake Erie. Steel Winds marks the first commercial deployment of Clipper Windpower's state-of-the-art 2.5 megawatt (MW) Liberty series wind turbines, a milestone in new wind turbine technology.
Located just south of Buffalo, New York, in the suburb of Lackawanna, the 20 MW Steel Winds project is situated on a 30-acre portion of the former Bethlehem Steel facility, which is being returned to productive use under the New York Department of Environmental Conservation Brownfield Cleanup Program. Steel Winds will generate enough electricity to serve the needs of approximately 6,000 western New York homes. The project will be operated by UPC Wind, with turbine operation and maintenance services provided by Clipper Windpower for the first five years.
"Where Bethlehem Steel once supported an earlier industrial revolution, today the Steel Winds project is bringing new jobs and clean energy technology to the Lake Erie region," said Paul Gaynor, President and CEO of UPC Wind. "We are pleased to be operating at full capacity and introducing this newest generation of wind turbines to the market."
The Clipper 2.5 MW Liberty wind turbine is the first wind turbine to utilize a patented, distributed powertrain and four permanent magnet generators to mitigate loads to components found in many of today's multi-megawatt wind turbine designs. Manufactured in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, it is among the largest land-based wind turbines in the world, and the largest wind turbine manufactured in North America.
"We are delighted that our first production Liberty machines will bring to the local area a meaningful contribution toward the beautification, revitalization and economic development of this brownfield site," said James G.P. Dehlsen, Chairman and CEO of Clipper Windpower
. "Steel Winds is an exemplary project, and certainly a tribute to the local communities that recognized the benefits early on and enthusiastically supported the effort. We look forward to our continued role in this milestone project."
For the Steel Winds project, UPC Wind
has partnered with BQ Energy
to produce and sell clean energy, capacity and renewable energy certificates to energy retailer Constellation NewEnergy through 2009. "Reaching full commercial operations and redeveloping a neglected brownfield site are both significant achievements for the Steel Winds project," said Paul Curran, Managing Director of BQ Energy. "With the continued support from state and county leaders, we look forward to providing New York State with clean and affordable energy."
In addition to increasing domestic energy production and enhancing energy security, wind power is considered an important part of the United State's energy future and a critical solution for fighting climate change. Wind power does not emit greenhouse gases or other damaging pollutants. One additional benefit is that wind, unlike traditional polluting sources of energy, has no fuel cost, therefore serving as a natural hedge against volatile fuel prices, which in most markets in the U.S. can have significant effects on electric bills.
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