Sheffield, Vt., October 26, 2011 — First Wind began commercial operations of the 40 MW Sheffield Wind project in Vermont. The project will deliver clean, renewable power to about 15,000 Vermont homes.
Located in the town of Sheffield in the Northeast Kingdom, the Sheffield Wind project is comprised of 16 Clipper Liberty 2.5 MW turbines, and will generate enough wind power for about 45 percent of the homes in the Northeast Kingdom.
The Sheffield Wind project will diversify the portfolio of electricity generation in Vermont, and it will be integrated into the grid in a manner that increases reliability and helps reduce costs for consumers.
Beyond producing clean energy, the Sheffield Wind project has also undertaken several cutting-edge environmental mitigation and conservation measures that surpass even the most stringent industry standards. One of these measures is an intricate system of ditches, which convey runoff to 27 basins designed to catch and filter storm water.
The renewable power generated by the project has been sold to three Vermont utilities including the Burlington Electric Department, the Vermont Electric Cooperative and the Washington Electric Cooperative. VEC and WEC both provide power to several towns in the Northeast Kingdom, so much of the power produced in Sheffield will stay within the area.
Now that the project has achieved commercial operations, the town of Sheffield will begin to receive more than $520,000 annually in tax revenues, which can be used toward local services including roads, schools, police, firefighters and more. In total, including payments and services for land, property and state taxes, and local maintenance contracts, about $1 million a year will be paid into Vermont for the life of the project.
During construction, Sheffield Wind created about 200 jobs, and several local businesses saw an increase in business and revenue during the building of the project. Additionally, the general contractor on the project, RMT, Inc., hired Vermont-based businesses and subcontractors including J.A. McDonald, Inc. of Lyndon Center; J.P Sicard, Inc. Excavating of Barton; Carroll Concrete of St. Johnsbury; and Deter Security of Rutland to work on the project.
Development and construction of the project required about 185,000 direct and on-site labor hours, or about 100 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs over a full-year. First Wind and its contractors used about 50 different Vermont businesses for site work, supplies and equipment, environmental services, fuel and maintenance and lodging.