Maple Ridge Wind Farm Celebrates Clean Energy for the Empire State
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September 26, 2006
LOWVILLE, New York - Public officials and energy industry representatives joined local schoolchildren and their families in upstate New York to dedicate the Maple Ridge Wind Farm on Sept. 26, 2006. The event "Tapping Maple Ridge, Harvesting Wind Energy" celebrated Maple Ridge Wind Farm as New York's largest electric plant built this year and included the New York premiere of the film "Tapping Maple Ridge."
"It has become abundantly clear that creating renewable energy sources is a must to ensure the economic future of our communities. With the goal of ensuring this project's financial feasibility, I sponsored legislation in 2002 that allows a locality or school district to enter into a Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) contract with properties that include wind or solar power systems," Senator Raymond A. Meier said. "The legislation coupled with the support of Governor Pataki, the PSC, NYSERDA, and the decision of PPM Energy and Horizon Wind Energy to make this tremendous investment, has resulted in the project coming to fruition. I was pleased to have played a role," he continued.
Peter R. Smith, President and CEO of NYSERDA said, "These are exciting times in New York State as we dedicate the new Maple Ridge Wind Farm in Lowville, an installation that will increase the amount of wind power in New York State by six-fold. The partnering of PPM Energy and Horizon Wind Energy to create the largest power plant built in New York this year has resulted in another bold stride forward for the Empire State. The children of New York, some of whom participated in the dedication, will be the beneficiaries of this clean energy initiative."
The Maple Ridge Wind Farm is jointly owned by Portland, Ore.-based PPM Energy (PPM), ScottishPower's (NYSE: SPI) competitive U.S. energy business and Houston, Texas based Horizon Wind Energy.
"On behalf of the project team, PPM Energy thanks the greater Lewis County community including the towns of Lowville, Martinsburg, Harrisburg, and Watson for a warm welcome," said Don Furman, Senior Vice President, PPM Energy. Michael Skelly, Chief Development Officer of Horizon Wind Energy followed by saying "We would also like to salute NYSERDA for their tremendous support in bringing this landmark project into being."
The wind farm area includes the towns of Martinsburg, Lowville, Watson and Harrisburg in Lewis County on the Tug Hill Plateau, about 75 miles northeast of Syracuse. The Maple Ridge project has been named to honor the maple sugaring tradition in Lewis County, the leading maple syrup producing county in New York. The first phase of Maple Ridge is 231 megawatts (MW), using 140, 1.65 MW Vestas turbines. Additional turbines under construction for Phase 2 will bring the total to 195 turbines producing 320 MW of electricity, enough to power up 160,000 average New York homes.
Upon full build-out, the Maple Ridge wind farm will prevent the annual emission of approximately 586,117 tons of carbon dioxide, 627 tons of nitrogen oxide (which causes smog), and more than 812 tons of sulfur dioxide (which causes acid rain). This is the equivalent of taking approximately 105,000 cars off the road.
The impressive white wind turbines, standing in neat rows on dairy cattle grazing land, take up less than two percent of the total land leased for the project.
"The Maple Ridge Wind Farm has put Lewis County on the map as a part of history in its benefits to region," said Bill Burke, landowner. "The project has created 20 full-time, local jobs as well as more than 400 construction jobs. More than 75 area landowners are receiving $2 million a year in land lease payments while the land remains available for farming and grazing."
Carol Murphy from the Alliance for Clean Energy New York said, "Maple Ridge is a perfect example of what commercial wind farming can do for the people of New York State-especially for the upstate economy-by bringing clean power, good local jobs, significant tax revenue and cleaner air. It also shows us that new generation can get built-321 MW in less than 12 months-when project sponsors work closely with local residents, New York State and the regulators."
"The new Maple Ridge Wind Farm provides a shining example on how to provide clean renewable energy in an environmentally and community friendly way," said Katherine Kennedy, director of the Northeast Energy Project for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). "On behalf of all New Yorkers who care about clean air and fighting global warming pollution, we salute Horizon Wind Energy, PPM Energy and the town and citizens of Lowville, Martinsburg, Watson and Harrisburg for working together to make this huge contribution to New York's renewable energy goals."
"Wind energy works for America's economy, environment and energy security, and provides enough electricity today to power more than 2.5 million American households. With a goal of 25 percent renewable energy, New York is helping set the pace for a new energy future," said America Wind Energy Association Executive Director Randall Swisher.
Horizon Wind Energy
Horizon Wind Energy develops, constructs, owns and operates wind farms throughout the United States. Horizon-developed wind farms operate in New York, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma, and the company has projects under construction in Washington, Texas and Illinois. Horizon Wind Energy is owned by Goldman Sachs, a leading global investment banking, securities, and investment management firm.
PPM Energy now has nearly 2,000 megawatts of wind energy in operation or under construction. The strength of its renewable project pipeline has allowed the company to increase its 2010 target by more than 50 percent to at least 3,500 megawatts developed or controlled by PPM Energy. PPM Energy balances its supply portfolio with sales to wholesale customers, placing almost all of its output in long-term contracts. Major customers include the cities of Seattle, Sacramento, Eugene, Pasadena, and Anaheim as well as investor-owned utilities such as Xcel Energy and Pacific Gas & Electric Company and the federal Bonneville Power Administration. PPM Energy also creates innovative new products to meet customer needs, such as operations and maintenance services and build-own transfers.