SOURCE: Green Mountain Power

Green Mountain Power

March 10, 2011 11:10 ET

GMP Searsburg Wind Plant Has Banner Year

COLCHESTER, VT--(Marketwire - March 10, 2011) - Green Mountain Power's Searsburg wind power facility had its most productive year on record in 2010, thanks to weather conditions and strong operating performance. 

"In its 13 years of continuous operation, the Searsburg facility has demonstrated that wind power works in Vermont," said Mary Powell, president and CEO of Green Mountain Power.

Above average wind speed contributed to record annual energy production of 14.7 million kilowatt hours in 2010, enough to supply more than 2,000 Vermont homes, well above the 11.8 million kwh 13-year average. In addition, there was less icing than usual in January, February and March 2010, which allowed more electricity to be produced in the coldest months when electricity market prices tend to be high.

"At six cents per kilowatthour, GMP Searsburg wind has been a cost-effective way for us to provide our customers with renewable energy," said Ms. Powell. "Our success at Searsburg encouraged us to propose the Kingdom Community Wind project in Lowell of up to 63 megawatts, which is now undergoing review by Vermont's regulators."

Wind plants use a free resource to generate electricity, unlike fuels such as oil, wood and gas whose cost can be volatile, so they help to stabilize the price of electricity.

"Wind power is intermittent, as is customer load, but in combination with other renewable energy sources, such as solar and hydro, it can be part of a cost-effective and reliable energy strategy," said Ms. Powell.

In 2010, as in every previous year since its construction, GMP's Searsburg wind plant received many requests for tours. There were more than 400 visitors to the site last year, including elementary school groups, college classes and interested citizens from the surrounding communities in Vermont and Massachusetts, as well as several people from the Ukraine.

Built in 1997, the six megawatt facility is currently Vermont's only utility-operated wind powered electric generation facility. Since it was built, the GMP Searsburg Wind Power facility has produced more than 164 million kilowatt hours of clean energy. 

About Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power ( generates, transmits, distributes and sells electricity in the State of Vermont. It serves more than 175,000 people and businesses.