The winds blowing across western Addison County, a part of Vermont with rich agricultural history, are now helping to generate more clean electricity thanks to Green Mountain Power’s third community-scale wind turbine at the Nea-Tocht farm in Ferrisburg. The Nea-Tocht farm is owned by the VanderWey family who milk 250 dairy cows. The family says the clean energy generated from their new wind turbine will save them $2,200 a year on electricity.
“Generating local power fits perfectly into our farm’s mission of growing local food,” said Raymond VanderWey, who owns Nea-Tocht farm, along with his wife, Linda and sons Howard and Sidney. “We are so pleased to partner with GMP to install this turbine that is not only a beautiful addition to our farm, but will help our bottom line. The name of our farm, Nea-Tocht is Dutch for “never thought” and it’s fitting today because we never thought we’d be milking our cows with renewable energy, but we sure are glad to be.”
Green Mountain Power installed the Vermont-built Northern Power 100 kilowatt wind turbine as part of its commitment to generating more local, small-scale renewable energy in Vermont. The first community-scale turbine was installed at the Northlands Job Corps in Vergennes in 2011. The second was installed at the Blue Spruce Farm in Bridport in 2013, which is also the first farm in Vermont to put power from cow manure on the grid.
“It is so exciting to be installing a renewable energy project that is also benefitting a farm family,” said Mary Powell, Green Mountain Power President and CEO. “Providing small-scale clean energy throughout our service territory helps to improve reliability and is part of our mission to provide renewable, reliable and low-cost energy for our customers.”
The tower of the NPS100 wind turbine installed at Nea-Tocht farm is 121 feet tall. Each blade is 39 feet long. It can produce about 155,000 kWh per year – equal to the amount of electricity used by 25 homes. It has a 20-year life span. The manufacturer is Northern Power Systems, a Vermont company with a factory in Barre. Aegis Wind, a general contractor based in Waitsfield, Vermont installed the turbine. Ground breaking was February 3 and the project took about a month to complete. As part of the partnership with Green Mountain Power, Nea-Tocht Farm will receive a portion of the power produced through net-metering. Green Mountain Power will own, operate, and maintain the turbine.