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West Virginia wind farm continues to have positive environmental and economic impact

JUNO BEACH, Fla. -- West Virginia's Mountaineer Wind Energy Center has completed its third successful year of pollution-free power production, helping to reduce power plant emissions and contributing more than $2.3 million to the local and state economies.

The 66-megawatt Tucker County wind farm, owned and operated by FPL Energy, is capable of generating enough electricity to serve approximately 20,000 homes. The wind farm offsets generation emissions totaling nearly 155,000 tons of carbon dioxide; more than 850 tons of sulfur dioxide and nearly 400 tons of nitrogen oxide.

“Wind energy emits no pollutants into the air or water, has a minimal impact on the local infrastructure and contributes to the economic well-being of the region,” said John Ragan, vice president of business management for FPL Energy. “Although wind power is a very small part of the power generation mix in West Virginia and across the country, it can play a larger role in diversifying the fuel supply and reducing emissions.”

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.

The Mountaineer Wind Energy Center is comprised of 44 wind turbines. Exelon Generation purchases the power from the facility and markets the power across the Mid-Atlantic region through its partnership with Community Energy, Inc., the nation's leading wind energy marketer.

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.