Pennsylvania Governor Dedicates Locust Ridge Wind Farm
Governor Edward G Rendell set in motion the wind turbines of Pennsylvania's newest
wind farm today, saying the state's strategic investments in and commitment
to renewable energy technologies are helping the commonwealth gain energy
independence, protect the environment and create new opportunities for
"This is an exciting day for Pennsylvania," said Governor Rendell while
standing atop Locust Ridge in Schuylkill County. "This project shows the
kind of growth we can achieve by committing ourselves to clean and
renewable energy, and by making the strategic investments necessary to
attract leading companies that create quality jobs for our men and women.
"Pennsylvania has established itself as a top destination for
alternative energy companies and development projects. Some of the world's
leading companies in the field, like Iberdrola and Gamesa -- the two
companies involved here today -- have chosen to set-up shop in
Pennsylvania. They realize that they can compete and succeed here because
of our commitment to growing this industry and our competitive business
The wind farm is owned by Iberdrola, the largest owner and operator of
renewable energy facilities in the world, and was developed by its
affiliate, Community Energy Inc. Gamesa constructed the 13 turbines at the
Locust Ridge Wind Farm. Both companies are international clean energy
leaders that chose to establish operations in Pennsylvania as a result of
the Rendell administration's energy policies and strategic investments.
Locust Ridge will produce 68,328 megawatt hours annually-enough
emission- free electricity to power more than 6,500 typical homes each
Pennsylvania is already a leader in wind energy production on the East
Coast with 179 megawatts (MW) of capacity, including Locust Ridge. Within
the next 12 months, the commonwealth expects new wind farm projects will
add another 214 MW of capacity and more than double the state's current
"It is exciting that Pennsylvania is leading the drive towards energy
independence and building solutions to climate change, like wind energy,
which also grow the economy and protect electricity customers from
potentially volatile fossil fuel prices," said Brent Alderfer, executive
vice president, Iberdrola Renewable Energies USA. "Thanks to Governor
Rendell's leadership and commitment to renewable energy, Iberdrola looks
forward to Locust Ridge being the first of many successful wind farms that
we build together."
Iberdrola has more than 60 employees at its new corporate offices in
Radnor, Delaware County. Its Community Energy affiliate, originally founded
in Wayne, Delaware County in 1999, has more than 2,000 MW of wind power
capacity at projects that are already operating or are in development.
Iberdrola announced plans last year to build more than 10,000 MW of
renewable energy worldwide by the end of 2011.
Gamesa, meanwhile, has invested $108 million in Pennsylvania and has
created more than 800 jobs here. The company operates two manufacturing
plants in Ebensburg, Cambria County, and Fairless Hills, Bucks County. Its
North American headquarters is located in Philadelphia.
PPL Corporation is also a key player in the Locust Ridge Wind Power
Project. Its early commitment to purchase the wind farm's electricity and
alternative energy attributes generated by the wind farm helped the
developer obtain favorable financing for the project. Investors typically
will not fully finance a renewable energy project unless there are
credit-worthy institutions committed to purchasing the power and
alternative energy credits produced.
"For PPL Corporation, making a 20-year commitment to buy the
electricity generated at this wind farm was the right thing to do," said
Bill Spence, executive vice president and chief operating officer of PPL
Corporation. "It was a smart business decision and it fits into our growing
focus on renewable electricity generation."
Wind power is an important piece of Governor Rendell
's Energy Independence Strategy
, which will invest $850 million to significantly expand Pennsylvania's alternative fuel and clean energy industries,
stabilize electricity rates for businesses, reduce dependence on foreign
oil and cut consumer energy costs by $10 billion over the next decade.
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