Answers to some of the questions you might ask about GMP Wind Power.
How does a wind turbine make electricity?
Typical wind turbines consist of three rotor blades that rotate around a horizontal hub. The hub is connected to a shaft, gearbox, and generator, which are located inside. The blades face into the wind, which forces the blades to rotate. That motion spins the shaft and, in turn, rotates the generator.
What wind projects are included in GMP Wind Power’s energy portfolio?
We think harnessing the wind is pretty cool, since it is a clean, affordable way to generate electricity. GMP owns Kingdom Community Wind, a 63 MW plant in Lowell, and a 6 MW facility in Searsburg. We purchase wind energy from the Granite Reliable project in Coos County, NH. We have also worked to support smaller-scale projects, most notably at the Job Corps Center in Vergennes, VT, and at the Blue Spruce Farm in Bridport, VT.
How much energy will GMP Wind Power’s wind portfolio produce?
At Lowell, we expect enough generation to meet the annual electrical needs of about 24,000 average households – 186,000 megawatt-hours each year. At Searsburg, we produce enough electricity for about 2,000 homes. The Granite Reliable project, as a whole, is expected to provide enough for 35,000 homes.
How much pollution will be displaced or otherwise prevented by these wind projects?
Due to the complex nature of the regional electric grid and its operation rules, it is nearly impossible to forecast the exact amount of pollution our project will prevent, as the source of generation displaced by wind will vary. The American Wind Energy Association estimates that each megawatt of wind capacity built displaces 1,800 tons of CO2 per year.
What are the benefits of the Lowell project?
The project will generate emission-free electricity, which means cleaner air and a healthier environment. It will also help stabilize electric prices for Vermonters. Our project will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars annually towards Vermont’s education fund and Lowell’s town budget through property taxes. Local tax-payers will enjoy substantially reduced property taxes (assuming town spending stays consistent with previous years), and it will create several permanent jobs.
Why do we need to build wind turbines on ridgelines? Why not put them at lower elevations closer to population centers?
Wind turbines need to be located where the wind is, as each incremental increase in wind speed results in an exponential increase in a turbine’s electrical output. The simple fact is that in Vermont, the wind speeds are higher, and more consistent, at the higher elevations.
Can I visit a windfarm?
Every year we offer several free public tours of the Searsburg wind facility, to give the public a chance to learn more about Vermont's most abundant renewable resource, and to get a closer look at the technology we use to harness the wind. These visits are scheduled to minimize impacts to bear habitat. To reserve a spot on a tour, visit http://www.northeastwind.com/tours.
Teaming up with Mother Nature
Our 63 MW Kingdom Community Wind project was completed in November 2012. With Mother Nature’s help, we expect to produce enough energy to serve about 24,000 households. To learn all about the project and the great benefits it will provide our customers and Vermont, visit the Kingdom Community Wind FAQs.