Installation of the largest wind turbine in the history of Long Island was completed last month. The 100-kilowatt turbine stands 121 feet tall but the tip of its rotors will reach a height of 156 feet above the ground. The clean-energy device was installed at a 1,200-acre wholesale nursery in Laurel, in Riverhead Town, at a cost of $500,000.
Under the Long Island Power Authority’s Backyard Wind Initiative, available to both residential and commercial customers, about $127,000 will be rebated to the nursery, according to a statement from Eastern Energy Systems of Mattituck which installed the turbine. In addition, the statement said, federal tax incentives and income derived from selling back to LIPA excess electricity will further reduce the net cost. The device is predicted to produce 157,555-kilowatt hours of electricity annually, realizing an approximate energy savings of $29,000.
To generate interest as well as electricity, EES announced an essay contest for high schoolers on Long Island entitled, “Why I want to work in the renewable energy industry.” The Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center at Stony Brook University, Molloy College and SUNY Farmingdale will award two scholarships each to the winners.
“This project is an excellent example of the power of renewable energy,” said Gov. David Paterson in the same statement.
“The mantra of the renewable energy industry has been that it will create green jobs,” said Albert Harsch of EES. “This turbine was made in America and installed by Long Islanders.”
The Northwind 100 wind turbine, manufactured by Northern Power Systems in Barre, Vt., has been installed in over a dozen states and four countries, but this is the first on Long Island.
“LIPA is proud to be a partner in this significant project that will increase the awareness of wind power on Long Island,” said LIPA President and CEO Kevin Law.
By using wind power from the turbine, CO2 emissions will be reduced by 99.49 tons annually, according to EES.
In addition to the scholarships being awarded by SBU, Molloy and Farmingdale, the winners of the essay contest – details at http://www.e2sys.com – will earn an EES summer 2010 internship to be awarded at the turbine’s commissioning in April. The winning students will also have the honor of cutting the ribbon at the event.
The SBU AERTC’s “mission to transition energy research into sustainable results will be augmented by the education that Stony Brook students receive based upon daily data from this windmill installation,” said Yacov Shamash, dean of SBU’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, vice president of economic development and vice chairman of AERTC. “We are pleased to award two Stony Brook engineering scholarships that will serve as an additional attractor to help fill the pipeline of energy researchers and energy engineers for the benefit of our entire local community.”
“Using wind energy comes naturally to Long Islanders who have used it for centuries, like the first settlers who built their windmills,” said Gordian Raacke, executive director of not-for-profit Renewable Energy Long Island.
For more information on LIPA’s renewable programs visit www.lipower.org/efficiency/wind-comm.html