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Pennsylvania wind farms continue to have positive environmental and economic impact
JUNO BEACH, Fla. -- FPL Energy, LLC, a subsidiary of FPL Group, Inc (NYSE: FPL) said today that its wind farms continue to help meet the growing need for pollution-free electricity in Pennsylvania while providing new economic opportunities for local communities and the state.
FPL Energy, through its subsidiaries, owns five Pennsylvania wind farms, with a capacity of 129 megawatts, capable of generating electricity for nearly 37,000 homes. In 2005, the wind farms offset generation emissions totaling about 174,000 tons of carbon dioxide; more than 1,200 tons of sulfur dioxide and approximately 300 tons of nitrogen oxide.
“Wind is a clean, renewable source of energy that emits no pollutants into the air or water, has a minimal impact on the local infrastructure and contributes to the economic well-being of local communities,” said John Ragan, vice president of business management for FPL Energy. “We believe wind power can play a larger role in diversifying the fuel supply and reducing power plant emissions in Pennsylvania.”
Although a wind farm may be built across many acres, the wind towers and gravel access roads use very little acreage, leaving the land surrounding the wind towers available for other uses by the landowners. Pennsylvania's wind farms are built on crop and grazing land and ridgetops used for hunting and logging. All of those activities continue on the land leased to FPL Energy by Pennsylvania landowners.
In addition to the environmental benefits, FPL Energy said the five wind farms provided a cumulative economic impact to Pennsylvania of more than $2.7 million in the form of state and local taxes, salaries, lease payments and locally purchased goods and services.
Nationwide, FPL Energy's fleet of wind turbines generated nearly 7.3 million megawatt hours of electricity in 2005. Together the 44 wind projects offset approximately 4.9 million tons of carbon dioxide, more than 13,000 tons of sulfur dioxide and nearly 9,000 tons of nitrogen oxides and had a cumulative direct economic impact of more than $80 million.