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Wind turbine work to start

Construction is to begin on 35 new wind turbines in the mountains of eastern Somerset County. E.ON Climate and Renewables North America Inc. has received approval to place construction trailers at the Stonycreek Wind Farm site along Route 30 near Reels Corners.

REELS CORNERS - Construction is to begin on 35 new wind turbines in the mountains of eastern Somerset County.

E.ON Climate and Renewables North America Inc. has received approval to place construction trailers at the Stonycreek Wind Farm site along Route 30 near Reels Corners.

The turbine site, which is expected to take about seven months to complete once work begins, represents an investment of nearly $80 million.

"The project is moving forward, and we hope to be commencing construction soon," said Patrick Woodson, an E.ON Climate and Renewables administrator.

Most of the turbines will be in Stonycreek Township, but the project also extends into Allegheny and Shade townships.

Each turbine is capable of generating 1.5 megawatts of electricity, meaning the entire site will be able to churn out 52.5 megawatts - enough to power an estimated 13,500 households, Woodson said.

Stonycreek Wind has been under development for years.

It first was proposed by Airtricity, an Irish company. E.ON, which is based in Germany, later bought Airtricity's North American operations.

E.ON Climate and Renewables has nine operating wind farms in the U.S. with two more under construction - not counting... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

REELS CORNERS - Construction is to begin on 35 new wind turbines in the mountains of eastern Somerset County.

E.ON Climate and Renewables North America Inc. has received approval to place construction trailers at the Stonycreek Wind Farm site along Route 30 near Reels Corners.

The turbine site, which is expected to take about seven months to complete once work begins, represents an investment of nearly $80 million.

"The project is moving forward, and we hope to be commencing construction soon," said Patrick Woodson, an E.ON Climate and Renewables administrator.

Most of the turbines will be in Stonycreek Township, but the project also extends into Allegheny and Shade townships.

Each turbine is capable of generating 1.5 megawatts of electricity, meaning the entire site will be able to churn out 52.5 megawatts - enough to power an estimated 13,500 households, Woodson said.

Stonycreek Wind has been under development for years.

It first was proposed by Airtricity, an Irish company. E.ON, which is based in Germany, later bought Airtricity's North American operations.

E.ON Climate and Renewables has nine operating wind farms in the U.S. with two more under construction - not counting Stonycreek Wind.

While the economic recession has slowed much growth and development, Woodson said E.ON "remains committed" to increasing its U.S. wind-energy presence.

He added that demand remains relatively high for renewable energy sources.

"At the political level, there's a real push for it right now," Woodson said.

"And we're still seeing a number of customers interested in wind energy."

The Stonycreek Wind project will have some impact at Mountain Ridge Trails Resort, an off-road-riding business that is hosting some of the new turbines.

The resort will remain open.

But the popular, annual QuadFest will not be held this summer at Mountain Ridge. The size of the gathering could have conflicted with construction activity, resort employee Darlene Mull said.

"We're still going to be open, but we just can't have a big event up there with 5,000 or 6,000 people," Mull said.

Somerset County has become a hot spot for wind-turbine development. Those efforts began in 2000 with the installation of eight windmills near Garrett.

Most recently, Irvine, Calif.-based Edison Mission Group formally dedicated two new sites hosting a combined 32 turbines: Forward Wind Project in Shade Township and Lookout Wind Project in Northampton and Brothersvalley townships.


Source: http://www.tribune-democrat...

MAR 27 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/19572-wind-turbine-work-to-start
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