Governor Lynch, Senator Shaheen, Energy Leaders and Area Families Celebrate New Hampshire's First Wind Farm at Dedication Event in Lempster
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June 19, 2009
LEMPSTER, N.H. — The Town of Lempster, New Hampshire today dedicated the Granite State's first modern wind power project with a community celebration that brought together families, elected officials, and a number of local businesses who had a hand in developing and building the 12 new turbines now creating clean electricity for the region using nothing but wind as fuel.
The Lempster Wind Power Project, located in Sullivan County, will produce enough renewable, homegrown energy to power 10,000 typical New Hampshire homes each year. The wind farm also benefitted from the work of local contractors and crews, and the project purchased numerous supplies and services from New Hampshire firms, including concrete, electrical cable, fuel, sand, food, lodging, and many other products.
The program featured Governor John Lynch, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, other elected officials, local community leaders and guests from all over New Hampshire.
"Our state is at the forefront of national efforts to build a new energy future, and we must continue to invest in renewable, sustainable power to ensure that 25 percent of our energy comes from renewable power by 2025. This is New Hampshire's first commercial wind farm, and an important step forward in reaching our goal," Gov. Lynch said. "We must push ahead in pursuit of a new energy future that will help to protect our environment, create jobs and strengthen our energy independence."
"New Hampshire has long been a leader in supporting clean and renewable energy, and I am so pleased to see that leadership is reaffirmed with today's dedication of the Lempster wind farm. In order for our country to break its addiction to fossil fuels and address the serious threats of climate change, investments in clean energy like the Lempster wind project will be essential. I have worked hard with my colleagues in the Senate Energy Committee to craft national policies that will help deploy renewable power across the country and today's celebration shows us that our state is well-positioned to realize the promise of a new American clean energy economy," said Senator Shaheen.
The 24-megawatt wind farm's 12 new Gamesa turbines stand nearly 400 feet tall and offset carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to taking approximately 5,700 cars off the road each year. Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH), the Granite State's largest electric utility, is purchasing all of the energy from the project under a long-term contract and is reselling a portion of the power to the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC), the local service provider.
"Wind, wood, and solar projects in New Hampshire not only help diversify our fuel mix and reduce our carbon footprint, they also hold the promise of new jobs and a stronger economy — especially in the rural parts of our state," said John MacDonald, PSNH Vice President of Generation. "By welcoming this wind farm into their community, the people of Lempster have helped to initiate a new era of economic growth and large-scale renewable energy production in New Hampshire. The success of this project will go a long way toward encouraging further renewable development in the Granite State."
"For the 80,000 members of New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, the Lempster Wind Power Project is especially symbolic," said NHEC President and CEO Fred Anderson. "Seventy years ago, in 1939, Lempster was the site of the Cooperative's very first pole in our founders' vision to bring reliable, affordable electricity to the unserved rural areas of New Hampshire. Today, Lempster is again a herald for the Co-op, as host to the first New Hampshire wind-powered generation in our quest to meet 25 percent of our members' electricity needs through renewable energy sources by the year 2025."
In addition to the production of renewable energy, Iberdrola Renewables developed Lempster with a focus on the local economic benefits of the project construction and operation. During the peak of Lempster's construction in 2008, up to 120 jobs were created.
"We work hard to earn the trust and respect of the communities where we do business and are honored to have worked with so many amazing individuals," said Martin Mugica, Executive Vice President of Iberdrola Renewables. "From engineering to concrete, environmental studies to power poles, a lot of New Hampshire and New England labor and materials helped bring this technology to New Hampshire."
The project is sited on about 1,500 acres of land in the Town of Lempster, though less that five percent of that is taken up by the project's footprint. Ten of the turbines are on land owned by Lempster resident Kevin Onnela.
"I am extremely proud of this achievement today, and feel fortunate to have met and worked with so many people motivated to bring this project to Lempster," said Kevin Onnela. "It is exciting to be part of this important first for the state, so let's build more wind power and bring more good jobs and homegrown energy to New Hampshire."
Iberdrola Renewables is the world's leading provider of wind power with 9,642 MW of wind power in operation as of March 31, 2009. www.iberdrolarenewables.us
PSNH is New Hampshire's largest electric utility, serving more than 490,000 homes and businesses. www.psnh.com
NHEC is a member-owned electric distribution cooperative serving more than 200,000 people through 80,000 meters in 116 New Hampshire communities. Learn more at nhec.com
Art Sasse, Director, Communications & Brand, Iberdrola Renewables, 503-796-7740
Paul Copleman, Media Relations, Iberdrola Renewables, 207-641-2805
Martin Murray, PSNH, 603-634-2228, email@example.com
Seth Wheeler, NHEC, 603-536-8685, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brett St. Clair, Louis Karno & Company on behalf of Iberdrola Renewables, mobile: (603) 491-3979, email@example.com