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Wind energy industry leaders, environmental advocates and policymakers gathered in the Capitol today to announce the launch of ChoosePAWind and the coalition’s new website – choosepawind.com – which touts the economic and environmental benefits of wind power for Pennsylvania.
“The wind energy industry is growing in Pennsylvania and creating jobs,” says Jim Spencer, President and CEO of EverPower, one of the wind farm developers and operators who helped conceive and launch the coalition. “Wind is an important part of a diverse energy solution for Pennsylvania. Alongside natural gas, solar and other locally sourced options, Pennsylvania's commitment to wind is another example of how our state is leading the national movement to produce more domestic energy. “The website, which shows options for several operators and energy suppliers, also shows Pennsylvania energy consumers how to “ChoosePAWind.” Individual consumers can choose suppliers that feature 100% PA wind, and large energy users can work with a number of PA wind producers on renewable energy credits supporting only in-state wind projects.More than 17 wind farms are currently operational in Pennsylvania, with 23 more in development, generating jobs, property taxes, and revenue for communities across the state. The wind energy industry is bigger than the wind energy providers. In Pennsylvania, it also encompasses a strong manufacturing presence in the state and many other industry suppliers.In 2010, the latest year that figures are available, between 3,000 and 4,000 people are employed directly or indirectly in wind energy industry jobs. Millions of dollars are paid in land leases and property taxes by wind energy producers. While these economic figures are impressive, it’s important to note the long-term environmental gains: Wind turbines cause no emissions and use virtually no water.“Americans have grown more aware of where their energy comes from, and by purchasing Pennsylvania wind power, Pennsylvanians interested in renewable energy can choose a source that’s literally from their backyard,” says David Takash, Vice President of Sales, Gamesa, a global wind energy leader that has its U.S. headquarters and two manufacturing facilities in Pennsylvania.Wind power has the potential to provide 6.4% of Pennsylvania’s energy needs, powering more than a million homes.