With a company ready to buy its wind power for the next two decades, PPM Energy LLC on Monday announced plans to begin construction on a 23-turbine wind development in the summer.
About a third of the proposed 1.5-megawatt wind turbines in the Casselman Wind Power Project are to be built on reclaimed surface-mining areas. The project encompasses nearly 2,000 acres near Rockwood and Meyersdale ““ though the “footprint” of used land should be less than 40 acres.
The turbines could be running before 2008, according to a release from PPM Energy, a Portland, Ore., based wind-energy supplier that sells to cities such as Seattle and a handful of California cities.
FirstEnergy Corp. of Akron, Ohio, has agreed to buy power from the project for the next 23 years.
“PPM Energy is delighted to enter into an agreement with such a strong company as FirstEnergy as we expand into Pennsylvania, which has one of the most progressive Renewable Portfolio Standards in the nation,” CEO Terry Hudgens said in a release.
Somerset County Commissioner Chairman Jim Marker said the development represents a $61 million investment in the county.
About 60 jobs are expected to be created during construction, and, once built, the turbines should require three or four permanent, full-time jobs.
The state Department of Environmental Protection has awarded the project a $500,000 grant for green energy.
Project engineer Jon Wahl, of Somerset Planning & Engineering Services, said the company has the necessary permits. “They’re ready to go.”
By Kecia Bal
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