PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Wind energy industry leaders, environmental advocates and policymakers gathered at the Union League of Philadelphia today to announce the launch of ChoosePAWind and the initiative's new website—www.choosepawind.com—which touts the economic and environmental benefits of wind power for Pennsylvania.
"Wind energy has come a long way in the Commonwealth," said former Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell, who spoke at the press conference today. "Choosing Pennsylvania wind products is a great way for energy consumers to show their commitment to sustainable energy and help to grow the alternative energy industry across the state."
In addition to spotlighting the many benefits of wind energy, the website also shows Pennsylvania energy consumers how to "ChoosePAWind." Individual consumers can select suppliers that feature 100 percent 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.
"A competitive electric market means consumers have more choice than ever in where their power comes from," said Jossi Fritz-Mauer, Co-Director at The Energy Cooperative, a nonprofit supplier in the PECO territory. "All it takes is five minutes for consumers to transform their support of clean energy into a commitment to buy electricity made from new wind farms coming from right here in Pennsylvania."
More than 17 wind farms operate in Pennsylvania, with 23 more in development, generating jobs, property taxes and revenue for communities across the state. Besides providers, the PA wind energy industry encompasses a strong manufacturing presence and many other industry suppliers across the state.
Between 3,000 and 4,000 people were employed directly or indirectly in Pennsylvania wind energy industry jobs in 2010, the latest year for which figures are available. Pennsylvania wind energy producers pay millions of dollars in land leases and property taxes. While these economic figures are impressive, the long-term environmental gains are also significant: Wind turbines cause no emissions and use virtually no water.
Wind has the potential to provide 6.4 percent of Pennsylvania's energy needs, powering more than a million homes. If the state's wind industry grew to its full potential, wind turbines could prevent over 6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. It would take 1,100 acres of forest to remove that amount of carbon dioxide.
What is ChoosePAWind?
The mission of ChoosePAWind is to educate consumers about the environmental and economic benefits of powering your home or business with local, Pennsylvania-sourced wind energy. More support means more wind farms in PA, bringing more jobs, investment dollars, and economic stimulus to local communities while producing zero emissions. For more information, visit www.choosepawind.com.