Vision Quest Windelectric has received an environmental award for an innovative program that has Calgary commuters riding the wind. Last September, the Alberta city's light rail transit system became the first in North America to be powered by wind energy. The program, called Ride the Wind, was conceived by Vision Quest and in June earned the Calgary wind power producer recognition from the Alberta Emerald Foundation for Environmental Excellence. Calgary Transit has contracted to buy 26,000 MWh of wind energy a year for ten years, the output of 12 of Vision Quest's Vestas 660 kW turbines. By displacing dirtier sources of electricity from the Alberta grid, the purchase results in an annual reduction of more than 26,000 tonnes of CO2 and several tonnes SO2 and NOx emissions. "We look forward to taking this concept to other cities in North America that are interested in practical and easy to implement transit emissions reductions," says Vision Quest's Fred Gallagher.
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