Boston-based wind energy developer First Wind has completed its first project of 2012.
Joined by U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins (D-New York), First Wind executives cut a red ribbon officially adding Steel Winds II to its operational wind energy portfolio.
Located on the shores of Lake Erie in Lackawanna, New York, Steel Winds II is comprised of six 2.5 MW wind turbines which have the capacity to generate up to 15 MW of renewable energy. The project was an expansion of the existing Steel Winds wind farm which now has a cumulative capacity of 35 MW.
The wind farm has been named to honor the land it sits on. Steel Winds has been placed on a 30-acre portion of a the now abandoned Bethlehem Steel Mill. The project is part of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation Brownfield Cleanup Program.
“Today, with the addition and expansion of Steel Winds we again demonstrate our ability to embrace the regions’ unique characteristics and harness the power of the wind to create clean energy. Here, on land at the water’s edge that has sat dormant for too long, we again have people working as we take what was old and make it new again to build a stronger tomorrow,” said Congressman Higgins.
Creating initiatives and incentives to build renewable energy projects on previously disturbed land is a growing trend among both state and federal lawmakers.
Last week, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) released a draft the Restoration Energy Design Project (RDEP) which seeks to identify public lands, with a focus on previously disturbed lands in Arizona.
First Wind continues to march on. It seems with every month the company announces a project being financed, receiving development approval or completing construction.
In January, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection approved the company's plan to expand its Oakfield Wind project in Aroostook County and this coming Friday Hawaii's Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz will join First Wind at a ground breaking ceremony for the 69 MW Kawailoa Wind project, which when compete is expected to be the state's largest wind farm.
Image Credit: dandeluca via Flickr
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