January 11, 2010 -- The Public Service Commission (PSC) of West Virginia granted a Siting Certificate for the construction of the Pinnacle Wind Farm at NewPage. The project, developed by Pinnacle Wind Force, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of US Wind Force, LLC, is the product of a joint development agreement between US Wind Force and Edison Mission Group (EMG).
"Pinnacle is delighted that the public service commission has granted the permit. While we have not yet had the opportunity to review the entire order, we are ready to put skilled West Virginians to work building this clean, renewable energy project. We anticipate that construction will likely begin once the terms of a power purchase agreement are finalized", said Dave Friend, vice president of US Wind Force.
The 23 turbine Pinnacle Wind Farm at NewPage will be located on Green Mountain, near Keyser WV, in Mineral County. The turbines will generate approximately 55 megawatts of power, which is enough electricity for over 14,000 households. The cost to construct the project is estimated at $130 million. County property taxes are projected to average more than $433,000 annually, placing it among the county's largest taxpayers. Additionally, Pinnacle has voluntarily committed to establish a community benefit fund that will provide locally controlled financial resources for community projects throughout the life of the project.
NewPage Corporation, the largest coated paper manufacturer in North America, is partnering with the project by placing six of the turbines on NewPage property near the company's Luke, Maryland facility. “NewPage is proud to partner strategically with US Wind Force, especially during a time when our country is facing significant energy challenges. This partnership is an example of our commitment to support the growth of sustainable energy and is consistent with our goal to continuously explore renewable energy opportunities for our facilities," said David Bonistall, vice president, environmental, health and safety for NewPage.
As part of the project planning process, a Community Advisory Panel (CAP) was established to create an ongoing dialogue with community members from the Keyser, New Creek, Piedmont, and Elk Garden areas. Members continue to meet to discuss the project and its progress. In addition to meeting with CAP members, US Wind Force has met with local civic and service organizations in Mineral County and conducted open house events. Friend added, "[W]e appreciate the tremendous amount of support the project has received from stakeholders in the local community and their willingness to provide valuable input throughout this phase of the process."
To learn more about the Pinnacle Project, please visit the US Wind Force website at www.uswindforce.com. Project area residents may stop by one of the community information repositories located at the Keyser Public Library, the Elk Garden Community School, and the Piedmont Public Library to see a copy of the application. A toll-free project line, 1-866-929-4429, is also available to anyone with questions about the project.
US Wind Force, LLC, based in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, is a privately held developer of utility-scale wind energy projects.
EMG companies rank as the seventh largest developer of wind energy projects in the United States with a current portfolio of 27 wind projects capable of producing more than 1,500 MW of electricity in operation or under construction in 10 states, including two projects in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. EMG also operates a power generating facility in Grant Town, West Virginia, which uses waste coal to generate electricity. EMG is headquartered in Irvine, California and is a subsidiary of Edison International.