Wind energy is developing Vermont’s clean energy economy, growing our environmental and services sector, creating high quality jobs and improving the quality of our air, water and health of our citizens. It can also grow our manufacturing and construction sectors. In Vermont, there are currently 6 megawatts (MW) of wind operating (Searsburg), 40 MW under construction (Sheffield), and 104 MW either permitted or in the permitting process. Together these projects would meet the electrical needs of approximately 56,000 average Vermont households (approximately the size of Windsor County) while generating significant economic benefits for our State and local communities. With just one wind farm currently operating, this clean energy source remains largely untapped in the Green Mountain State.
Searsburg Wind Farm: The 6-megawatt wind project is currently Vermont’s only commercial wind farm, operating since 1997. The 550-kilowatt turbines provide enough electricity to meet the needs of 1,600 average Vermont households.
Sheffield Wind Project: This 40-megawatt wind project, located in Sheffield, is under construction and will include 16 wind turbines. The project will provide enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 16,000 Vermont average households and is expected to create 80 jobs during construction and 24 permanent jobs. The project will contribute $12.5 million in state Education Fund revenues over its 20-year life and local residents will enjoy significant financial benefits to their community as well.
Georgia Mountain Community Wind Project: This 11-megawatt wind project, which has received its Certificate of Public Good from the Vermont Public Service Board, is owned by a Vermont family, who are also owners of a local concrete business. The project’s 4 wind turbines will provide enough electricity to meet the needs of 4,200 average Vermont households.
Deerfield Wind Project: This 30-megawatt wind project, located in Searsburg and Readsboro, will include 15 turbines and provide enough electricity to meet the needs of 13,000 average Vermont households. Approximately 250 jobs will be created during construction and 9 permanent jobs. The project is expected to contribute $10 million in state Education Fund revenues over its 20-year life and local residents will enjoy significant community financial benefits as well.
Kingdom Community (Lowell) Wind Project: This 63-megawatt wind project located in Lowell, Vermont, will include up to 21 wind turbines and provide enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 20,000 average Vermont households. The project is expected to create 700 jobs during construction and 30 permanent jobs. The project will contribute $24 million in state Education Fund revenues and approximately $15 million to the local communities over its 25-year life.
Small wind turbine installations: Several 100 kW wind turbines manufactured by a Vermont company have been installed or planned at locations in the state, including Heritage Aviation, Bolton Ski Area, Dynapower, Rock of Ages, Burke Mountain, and the Lake Champlain Ferry at South Hero. Smaller wind turbines for residential use are also sprinkled throughout Vermont.
--Adapted from economic impact analyses submitted to the Vermont Public Service Board.