Haluska said the grant, awarded through the state’s Alternative and Clean Energy Program, will help fund a portion of the cost of purchasing and installing an additional 30 wind turbines. The new phase of the wind farm project will be known as the Highland North Wind Power Project, and will increase the total wind energy capacity of both phases of the project to more than 137 megawatts.
"The expansion will increase the amount of wind energy capacity in Pennsylvania by 10 percent," Haluska said. "This additional, clean and renewable power will be sold to the grid, and will continue to move Pennsylvania forward as a leader in alternative and clean energy production and use."
Haluska said there is strong local support for the project, and lease agreements and permits for the second phase of the project are in-hand. Highland North is owned by EverPower Wind Holdings Inc., a company which has 17 wind energy projects in various stages of development in eight states.
He said wind farms can be particularly beneficial to rural areas of the state. "These projects create jobs and increase the economic value of the land on which they are located," he said. "In addition, since the wind turbines have such a small footprint, most of the land around them can still be farmed or used for other purposes and income.
"Wind energy also is beneficial to the environment and health," he said. "One of these wind turbines, as opposed to energy created by burning fossil fuels, prevents about 2,700 tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted. Finally, this wind turbine project will give consumers across the state increased access to a renewable and cleaner source of energy whose price is relatively low and stable."
The total cost of the Highland North Wind Project is estimated at just under $121.1 million. The Commonwealth Financing Authority was established by the Pennsylvania General Assembly as an independent agency to administer the state’s economic stimulus packages. CFA administers funding for a variety of economic and energy development and investment programs designed to advance growth in Pennsylvania.