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Windpower Exceeding Expectations

Hundreds attend one of the open house events held annually each year to learn about local renewable energy. Courtesy Photo.

Hundreds attend one of the open house events held annually each year to learn about local renewable energy. Courtesy Photo.

By Green Energy Times Staff

Two Vermont wind farms have reported exceeding production expectations for 2015. They are Kingdom Community Wind (KCW) and Georgia Mountain Community Wind (GMCW).

Kingdom Community Wind

KCW, in Lowell, Vermont, announced that its 21 turbines had generated enough electricity in 2015 to power 26,700 homes. That is an increase of 7% from the previous year.

KCW has a Good Neighbor Fund, part of a commitment by Green Mountain Power (GMP) to provide benefits for the communities near wind farms. Payments to the fund are based on generation, and as generation increases, so do payments. This year, five nearby communities will receive over $201,000 from the fund, up $75,000 from two years ago and $13,000 from last year.

A tour bus with spinning turbines in the background brings visitors to the community wind site. Courtesy Photo.

A tour bus with spinning turbines in the background brings visitors to the community wind site. Courtesy Photo.

The town of Eden will receive $77,420, Albany will get $69,885, and Craftsbury will have $33,851. Westfield and Irasburg will receive $10,000 each. Lowell, the wind farm’s host community, gets benefits in the form of tax revenues, and so is not part of the program.

Most of the towns benefiting from the fund use the payments to reduce taxes or to support local initiatives. The residents of one town, Craftsbury, voted to use its payment from KCW to invest in a 10-kilowatt solar system to help cover municipal electric needs.

“KCW is a key part of GMP’s continued commitment to deliver reliable, low-cost energy to Vermonters,” said corporate spokesperson Dorothy Schnure, adding that in the last four years, GMP has given customers three rate decreases.

Good Neighbor payments will continue for the first ten years the plant operates. Kingdom Community Wind began generating power in November 2012. GMP’s web site is greenmountainpower.com.

Georgia Mountain Community Wind

GMCW announced that its electric production exceeded expectations by more than 22%, putting out over 33,000,000 kilowatt hours in 2015. This is sufficient to power more than 5,500 households. The project in Milton and Georgia produced enough energy to account for 9.5% of the energy demand of the Burlington Electric Department, which buys 100% of the wind farm’s production through a long-term contract.

GMCW has four turbines. In terms of production and availability, it is the best wind project in Vermont.

GMCW pays about $92,000 to its host communities in taxes and over $97,000 in Production Tax payments to the State Education Fund, helping all Vermont municipalities with quality education.

The community wind facility is operated under the leadership of two life-long Vermonters, renewable energy manufacturer and developer David Blittersdorf and Jim Harrison of the Harrison Family of Milton.

“Vermont wind is working,” said Blittersdorf. “It’s working for our environment, for our local economy, and for our state’s energy security.”

For more information, visit www.georgiamountainwind.com

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