Twin Ridges Wind Farm, a 139 megawatt wind turbine farm on Big Savage Ridge in Somerset County, Pa., started generating power just before Christmas. The farm has 68 turbines, spinning out enough electricity to power more than 33,300 homes a year.
It's also a big plus for the local economy. Some 89 landowners will receive over $1.5 million in royalty, easement, and other payments, according EverPower, the wind farm owner. That's not all.
The system is expected to deliver up to $223,000 annually, to be shared among the four townships, and sending about $93,000 a year to the Berlin and Meyersdale School Districts combined. Somerset County will get at least $37,000 per year.
EverPower will spend at least $2 million a year on local goods and services. During the construction phase, the wind farm employed many local workers from the building trades.
Mehoopany Wind Farm is in Wyoming County, owned by BP Wind Energy. It's the state's largest — a 144 MW system with 88 turbines.
The $250 million project, according to BP Wind Energy, produces enough to power around 34,400 homes a year. More than 400 people worked on the project during the peak of construction.
Pennsylvania now has 1.2 gigawatts (GW) of installed wind capacity. (A gigawatt is 1000 megawatts or a billion watts.) Our 21 wind farms can now produce enough electricity to power nearly 300,000 homes each year, says George Jugovic, Jr., President and CEO of PennFuture, an environmental quality advocacy group.
Having these wind farms making electricity is the equivalent of closing more than two coal-fired power plants the size of GenOn Energy's Elrama facility in Fayette County, says Jugovic.
If you live in the Duquesne Light territory (Allegheny and Beaver Counties), you can sign up to switch through Community Energy . Residents and businesses in other areas can sign up through Choose PA Wind.