By Gary Thomas
An autonomous US-based wind energy company, First Wind celebrated the fifth year of its Steel Winds Project, situated on a former brownfield site. The project is located at the shores of Lake Erie in Lackawanna city south of Buffalo, New York. Almost 200,000 MWh of energy has been produced from the time it commenced commercial operations in June, 2007.
An honorary cake was served to celebrate the five-year anniversary of Steel Winds.
The CEO of First Wind, Paul Gaynor stated that during the last five years, from the time this project went online, two more projects were built in New York, which included the company’s largest wind project in the Town of Cohocton and the latest six-turbine Steel Winds II project.
These three projects together can generate sufficient amount of clean electricity to provide power to around 60,000 New York homes, enabling the state to draw closer to its target of 30% renewable energy sources by the year 2015.
The operation highlights of the project since it went online on June 1, 2007 are:
- The project has generated over 200,000 MWh of renewable, clean electricity.
- The six-turbine Steel Winds II expansion was completed in February 2012, which can generate sufficient electricity to power 9,000 New York homes annually.
- The Steel Winds I project has successfully powered around 5,500 homes every year from the time it began operations.
The environmental benefits of the project are:
- The project is located at the former Bethlehem Steel facility, which was transformed to enable productive use as per the New York Department of Environmental Conservation Brownfield Cleanup Program.
- The former toxic-waste site was cleaned up, which involved over 30 ac of clean, new soil cover and revegetation on the site.
- The power generated by both phases of the Steel Winds project is equal to bringing down carbon dioxide emissions by 23,000 t every year.