First Wind Celebrates Commercial Operations at Milford II Wind Farm

First Wind, an independent U.S. wind energy company, hosted a celebratory barbeque event yesterday at the company’s Utah-based Milford Wind farm. Local officials and members of the community were on hand to commemorate the start of commercial operations for the 102 MW Milford II Wind turbines project, which officially went on-line last month. During the event, First Wind also recognized the local high school students that were recipients of the 2011 First Wind Scholars awards.

The 102 MW wind farm, which features 68 1.5 MW GE wind turbines, is located north of the 204 MW Milford Wind Corridor Phase I project (Milford I). During the ribbon-cutting event, First Wind was joined by Milford Mayor Bryan Sherwood; Samantha Julian, Director of Energy and Natural Resources for the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development; Bart Whatcott, Millard County Commissioner; and Andy Swapp, a teacher at Milford High School and, together with his students, an inspiration for the Milford projects.

During the ceremony, First Wind also recognized the recipients of the 2011 First Wind Scholars academic award. A graduate of Delta High School, Joshua Lake was this year’s winner of the $5,000 award, which is renewable for up to four years. Joshua will use his scholarship at Utah State University where he plans to study Electrical Engineering. Kyle Goodwin of Beaver High School was the recipient of a one-time, $3,000 award, and will attend Southern Utah University to study Engineering.

“We are very happy to celebrate our continued partnership with the Millard and Beaver County communities and we are very pleased to see our Milford II project on-line and operating,” said Peter Sullivan, Director of First Wind. “It is a pleasure to come together with our friends here to celebrate Milford II operations and to acknowledge the incredible support First Wind has received from this community. In particular, we are excited to recognize the students from the region that were recipients of our company’s scholarship program as they represent the future leaders in the fields of environment, energy and the sciences.”

At 306 MW, the combined output of Milford I and II has the capacity to generate enough energy to power up to 64,000 homes. This clean power is the equivalent of avoiding almost 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, calculated in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Emissions and Generation Resource Integrated Database.

First Wind is an independent wind energy company exclusively focused on the development, financing, construction, ownership and operation of utility-scale wind turbines projects in the United States. Based in Boston, First Wind has wind farm projects in the Northeast, the West and in Hawaii, with the capacity to generate up to 635 megawatts of power and projects under construction with the capacity to generate up to an additional 121 megawatts.