Arizona celebrated its first commercial-scale wind power project in a big way.
Ken Salazar, the U.S. Interior Secretary, joined federal, state and local officials, energy industry leaders, ranchers and school children in the celebration at the dedication of the Dry Lake Wind Power Project.
Located in Navajo County, the Dry Lake Wind Power Project sits on a combination of private, state and federal lands. One third of the project is on the private Rocking Chair Ranch, with a third each on Arizona State Land Department and Bureau of Land Management public lands.
According to Salazar, the successful completion of this vital project reflects the concerns we all share — nationally, regionally and locally — about the critical energy challenges facing communities across the United States.
"The partnership that built Arizona's first commercial-scale wind energy project demonstrates a common desire to reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil by using our domestic renewable resources to meet a larger share of our energy needs,” Salazar said. “This strategy will also help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change, while creating 'green jobs' around the nation."
The largest provider of wind power in the world, Iberdrola is a leader in optimized energy solutions tailored to meet the needs of wholesale and large commercial and industrial customers. Iberdrola’s portfolio of gas and power assets, 24-hour energy management, and scheduling capabilities, allows the delivery of products and services that help customers manage risks and uncertainty in the natural gas and power industries while fulfilling short- or long-term energy requirements.
According to Martin Mugica, Iberdrola’s executive vice president, the company intends to invest another $6 billion in new renewable energy facilities in the United States over the next three to four years.
"It is very satisfying to help provide clean energy and homegrown green jobs,” Mugica said.
The project brings a new source of clean, renewable energy to the region while supporting the local economy through property tax payments to Navajo County and job creation. During the peak of Dry Lake's construction, 200 direct construction jobs were created as well as hundreds of indirect jobs through the supply chain and construction support.
"This project is another example of the incredible potential that clean, renewable energy has for Arizona and our country," said Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, who serves Navajo County in the House of Representatives and spoke at the dedication. "The Dry Lake Wind Farm will deliver jobs, help us diversify our energy sources, and lower our utility bills. In these tough times, it is a shot in the arm for District One."
Dry Lake generates enough power for more than 15,000 homes, which will be delivered to customers of Salt River Project. Composed of 30 Suzlon S88-2.1 megawatt (MW) turbines, the Dry Lake Wind Power Project generates 63 MW of clean energy.
Image courtesy of Flickr
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