Monday, March 2, 2015

Putting in a plug for PA wind

Earlier today at the Union League, wind proponents unveiled a new website, www.ChoosePAWind.com, which is intended to convince anyone who hasn't already to sign up for a power plan that supports Pennsylvania wind farms.

Putting in a plug for PA wind

Earlier today at the Union League, wind proponents unveiled a new website, www.ChoosePAWind.com, which is intended to convince anyone who hasn't already to sign up for a power plan that supports Pennsylvania wind farms.

Many of the wealth of options open to consumers in PECO territory include wind, but there's considerable debate about just how much good it will do to support a wind farm from, say, Texas.

The groups behind the website contend that "more support means more wind farms in PA, bringing more jobs, investment dollars and economic stimulus to local communities, while producing zero emissions," according to a press release.

The event today attracted an impressive line-up of speakers _ former Gov. Ed Rendell; Joseph Otis Minott, executive director of the Clean Air Council; Eric Thumma, director of institutional relations for Iberdrola Renewables, Inc.; Jossi Fritz-Maurer, co-director of the Energy Cooperative; and  Jacob Susman, founder and CEO of OwnEnergy.

What I like about the site is that it gives specifics. Too many times, an organization will tell you how important it is to support a particular thing, but then not tell you how to do it. Or they won't recommend companies because they don't want to be seen as endorsing one business over another.

Apparently, it's an easier call to identify the companies that include Pennsylvania wind in their portfolios. The site lists current retail energy suppliers that offer PA wind packages. The ones open to residential customers are the Energy Cooperative and Community Energy.

The site notes that Pennsylvania has 17 operating wind farms with a total capacity of more than 800 megawatts that generate more than 2 billion kilowatt-hours of clean electricity each year -- enough to power nearly 240,000 homes.

Just yesterday, I saw some huge wind turbine blades being trucked out the Schuylkill Expressway. Impressive. Wonder where they were headed.

At least once a year, my husband and I make a trek to Shenandoah to get his family's favorite kielbasi. (His grandparents were Lithuanian, so this is important.)  It's in the heart of coal county, yet on the hills surrounding the town are wind turbines -- more and more every year. 

Interesting to see how the state's energy picture is changing.

Sandy Bauers Inquirer GreenSpace Columnist
About this blog

GreenSpace is about environmental issues and green living. Bauers also writes a biweekly GreenSpace column about environmental health issues for the Inquirer’s Sunday “Health” section.

Sandy Bauers is the environment reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she has worked for more than 20 years as a reporter and editor. She lives in northern Chester County with her husband, two cats, a large vegetable garden and a flock of pet chickens.

Reach Sandy at sbauers@phillynews.com.

Sandy Bauers Inquirer GreenSpace Columnist
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