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A national report ranks Pennsylvania's growth in wind energy generation as the second-most of any state in the third quarter of 2008, Governor Edward G. Rendell said on October 21.
The report by the American Wind Energy Association, or AWEA, shows Pennsylvania continues to be a national leader in building a clean energy economy and in creating green collar jobs – two of Governor Rendell's strongest priorities.
"This is the second consecutive quarter that Pennsylvania has been ranked second in the nation for our growth in this industry," said Governor Rendell. "We have worked hard to encourage the growth of clean, homegrown energy resources and our efforts have paid off by creating new jobs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and curbing our reliance on foreign sources of fuel."
Pennsylvania saw a 29 percent increase in wind energy generation between July and September last year, bringing capacity to 595 megawatts, or enough electricity to power 178,500 homes.
The new wind capacity was created by the completion of two major wind projects – the 70-megawatt North Allegheny development in Cambria and Blair counties and the 62.5-megawatt Highland Wind Project in Cambria County.
The governor added that as many as 500 Pennsylvanians are building more wind farms that are expected to begin production by the end of 2009.
"The amount of wind energy being produced in Pennsylvania, and nationally, prevents a lot of pollution that harms the public's health, including more than a million tons of carbon that would otherwise go into the atmosphere and trap heat," Rendell said. "Pennsylvania is far ahead of most states in developing green energy and green jobs that protect our environment and build our economy."
AWEA's report found the total wind power capacity now operating in the U.S. is more than 31,000 megawatts, generating enough electricity to power the equivalent of nearly 9 million homes and avoid 57 million tons of carbon emissions annually. The wind energy is expected to reduce carbon emissions from the electricity sector by 2.5 percent.
The full report is available on the AWEA Web site at http://www.awea.org/publications/reports/3Q09.pdf.