PA Wind Farms Receive Recovery Act Investments

The U.S. departments of Treasury and Energy this week announced a $42.2 million grant to Highland Wind Farm, a 62.5 megawatt facility under construction in Cambria County, and a $59.2 million grant to Locust Ridge II, a 102 megawatt project in Schuylkill County.

"These investments allow Pennsylvania’s energy companies to move ahead with projects that not only provide clean, renewable energy to reduce greenhouse emissions and curb climate change, but also to create and retain family-sustaining jobs and expanding Pennsylvania’s green economy," Governor Edward G. Rendell said.

The two wind power projects will produce enough electricity to power approximately 59,000 homes, the Governor said.

The grants are among a total of $500 million in Recovery Act investments announced this week for 12 wind energy and solar projects in eight states, the first round of grants in a program that is expected to provide more than $3 billion in financial support for clean energy projects by providing direct payments in lieu of tax credits.

The departments of Treasury and Energy last month announced the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit Program, which provides for $2.3 billion in tax credits under the Recovery Act for businesses that manufacture equipment for clean energy technology. For more information, visit Applications are due to the Department of Energy by Sept. 16.

"The Recovery Act is working in Pennsylvania to stimulate economic growth in the clean energy sector, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels that contribute to air pollution and climate change,"

Governor Rendell said.

To learn more about how the federal economic stimulus is benefiting Pennsylvania, visit

Pennsylvania Wind Resource Map

The Department of Energy’s Wind Program and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) published a new wind resource map for the state of Pennsylvania. This resource map shows wind speed estimates at 50 meters above the ground and depicts the resource that could be used for utility-scale wind development. Future plans are to provide wind speed estimates at 30 meters, which are useful for identifying small wind turbine opportunities.

As a renewable resource, wind is classified according to wind power classes, which are based on typical wind speeds. These classes range from Class 1 (the lowest) to Class 7 (the highest). In general, at 50 meters, wind power Class 4 or higher can be useful for generating wind power with large turbines. Class 4 and above are considered good resources. Particular locations in the Class 3 areas could have higher wind power class values at 80 meters than shown on the 50 meter map because of possible high wind shear. Given the advances in technology, a number of locations in the Class 3 areas may suitable for utility-scale wind development.

This map indicates that Pennsylvania has wind resources consistent with utility-scale production. The good-to-excellent wind resource areas are concentrated on ridge crests in the southwestern part of Pennsylvania, located southwest of Altoona and southeast of Pittsburgh.