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Pennsylvania deal for green power

Construction starts this month near Garrett in Pennsylvania of eight 1.3 MW Nordex turbines which by May will be supplying customers buying their electricity from GreenMountain.com, a retailer of green electricity. Project developers are American National Wind Power and GreenMountain.com, aided by Disgen of Colorado. The deal was announced November 23.

Construction of renewables plant is directly related to the number of customers GreenMountain.com signs up for its renewable product, says GreenMountain's Brian Killkelley. He says American National Wind Power will eventually own the turbines and Greenmountain.com will buy their output. American National Wind Power is an affiliate of American National Power in Houston, Texas, and National Wind Power Ltd of Great Britain. The turbines will be the first Nordex 1.5 MW machines in the US, though they are common in Europe.

The race is now on to be the first supplier of wind energy in the state. So far the wind portion of the green power product marketed to Pennsylvania customers since the state's utilities were deregulated has been imported from other states. But Community Energy Inc says that before the end of the year it will be marketing 130 kW of wind in blocks as "Pennsylvania Wind Energy" to commercial electricity customers in the Philadelphia area. Community Energy is a new non-profit company formed by the Clean Air Council of Pennsylvania and the Land and Water Fund of the Rockies (Colorado).

The two 65 kW turbines are being developed at an industrial park near Hazelton by Energy Unlimited Inc of Pennsylvania. Energy Unlimited already has wind projects in Palm Springs, California, and in northern Colorado. Additional turbines will be added in Pennsylvania as customers demand the new product.

Brent Alderfer, president of Community Energy, says business customers can buy Pennsylvania Wind Energy in blocks of 400 kWh a month. Each block will cost the customer more per kWh than the cost of competitive market power but, depending on the number of blocks a business buys, the total cost could be the same or lower than they currently pay to their utility. The wind turbines are expected to produce 200,000 kWh a year.

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