Keep your eyes to the skies – well, the mountains.
The first of dozens of Gamesa’s towering windmills have begun sprouting up along the Allegheny ridgeline that divides Cambria’s Mainline area and southwestern Blair County.
Initially, 40 windmills will be built along the ridgeline in Cresson, Portage and Washington townships in Cambria and Juniata and Greenfield townships in Blair County.
Gamesa is expected to have phase one of the farm finished by year’s end.
Phase two is expected to begin in 2007, said Terry Nichol, project developer for Gamesa.
He said it was too early to say exactly how many more windmills will be added in the second phase.
Earlier estimates and plans shown to township officials estimated the farm would have a total of 60 windmills when complete.
Gamesa’s spinning turbines, manufactured in Cambria Township, create energy that otherwise would be generated by coal-fired power plants.
First Energy signed a 23-year lease in 2004 to purchase the energy that the windmills will create.
And Gamesa has inked deals with the townships they are building on, paying them $1,500 per megawatt – $3,000 per windmill – annually in lieu of taxes.
Nichol said it was too soon to tell when the first of the Allegheny Ridge windmills will be up and running. They will be tested after the first phase is complete, he said.
Mirror Staff Writer David Hurst is at 946-7457.
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