DALLAS BOROUGH – Wyoming County’s wind farm is expected to generate power by the new year, according to a company spokesman.
“This will be the largest single wind farm in Pennsylvania when we complete it, and we are looking to complete it by the end of this year,” Ray McPhail, director of projects for BP Wind Energy, said during a presentation on the project this week at the Masons’ George M. Dallas Lodge No. 531.
BP Wind Energy, in partnership with Sempra U.S. Gas and Power, is constructing 88 wind turbines stretching from Noxen to Mehoopany.
The more than $250 million project is expected to generate 141 megawatts of electricity a year, enough to power 40,000 homes. The customers are Old Dominion Electric Cooperative in Virginia and Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative.
Under a 20-year agreement, Old Dominion will buy more than 110 megawatts of energy and renewable energy credits from the project, according to a report on the utility’s website.
Since the first Wyoming County windmill was completed on Aug. 6, the pace has been going “a little slower than we’d like,” but is now picking up, McPhail said. He was confident the project will be finished on time. Seventeen turbines have been erected and 26 bases are set.
More alternative energy is a future possibility. McPhail said BP and Sempra are looking at places to put solar panels in the wind farm, but that’s still in development.
Although construction of the Mehoopany wind farm started in July and will wrap up this year, the project was in the works for years. McPhail said it has been on the books since he joined BP in 2006.
Selecting a wind farm site can take years of testing and environmental studies.
McPhail said the average lifespan of a wind farm is 20 years, which is why companies lease the land rather than buy it.
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