Washington, D.C., Mar 27, 2006 — The Statue of Liberty will now be lit with wind power, said the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The U.S. National Parks Service has contracted with Pepco Energy Services to purchase 27 million kilowatt-hours of wind power to cover the electricity needs for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island museum.
The AWEA provided the following comments to highlight the announcement:
* Wind farms across the U.S. now generate enough electricity to light up about 1,000 Statues of Liberty.
* In 2006, the U.S. wind energy industry will install an estimated 3,000 megawatts of wind power capacity, enough to light up an additional 300 Statues of Liberty or 800,000 homes.
* Wind power is now a mainstream option for electricity generation. “I recognize the importance of wind power,” said President George Bush on February 20, 2006. “It’s possible we could generate up to 20% of our electricity needs through wind.” Twenty percent is the share that nuclear power provides today.
* Wind energy development creates jobs, and will inject $4 billion worth of investment into the U.S. economy in 2006, said the AWEA. Several wind turbine manufacturing facilities opened in the U.S. in the past year, including in Pennsylvania, Iowa and Tennessee. In rural communities where wind projects are installed, farmers earn $2,000 to $4,000 or more per year per turbine installed on their land, while continuing to grow crops up to the foot of the turbines.
* Wind is a clean, renewable energy source that does not emit any pollution, or cause mining and drilling for fuel to run power plants. The electricity generated in 2006 by America’s wind farms will displace some 15 million tons of carbon dioxide.
* Wind is a domestic, inexhaustible, energy source that reduces our need to import fuels for electricity generation. Moreover, wind plants consist of small individual turbines that cannot be easily damaged at the same time, do not pose a secondary threat to the public (such as explosions or release of radioactivity), and are easy to replace.