This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

May 19, 2004

Maryland Local Governments Buy a Large Amount of Wind Power

Photo of the Mountaineer Wind Energy Center.

The Mountaineer Wind Energy Center in West Virginia will soon supply wind power to local governments in Maryland.
Credit: Community Energy, Inc.

A group of six county agencies in Montgomery County, Maryland, along with 11 local municipalities and nearby Prince George's County, have agreed to purchase five percent of their electricity from wind power. Montgomery County executives announced the wind power purchase on May 13th and claimed it as the largest U.S. purchase of wind energy by a local government, the largest retail purchase of wind power in Maryland, and the fifth largest retail purchase of wind power in the country. The group is buying more than 38 million kilowatt-hours of wind power per year for two years from Community Energy, Inc. (CEI), which generates the wind power at the Mountaineer Wind Energy Center in West Virginia. See the Montgomery County press release.

CEI, which markets power from most of the wind plants in New York and the mid-Atlantic, noted in late April that it is now selling more than 350 million kilowatt-hours per year. Since its founding in 1999, the company has sold more than two billion kilowatt-hours of wind power. But CEI isn't the only game in town: Constellation NewEnergy announced in early April that it is supplying more than 50 megawatts of power to government buildings in New York City, roughly one-quarter of which will come from renewable energy. See the press releases from CEI and Constellation NewEnergy.

Wind power is also selling well in the West, where Avista Corporation has agreed to buy the next ten years of power output from 35 megawatts of wind turbines at PPM Energy's Stateline Wind Energy Center, located near Walla Walla, Washington. Avista provides electric power to its customers in four western states. Meanwhile, students at Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins will have a new opportunity in fall: the chance to buy 100 percent wind energy for their dorm rooms. The university is offering the wind energy option at a cost of $17 per year. According to CSU, the average residence-hall student uses about 1,600 kilowatt-hours of electricity during the school year. See the press releases from Avista and CSU.