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Wind power provides substantial benefits

A recent letter misstated a number of facts on wind power. Citing a theoretical study rather than real-world data, the letter ignored that wind power is already generating more than 10 percent of the electricity in nine states, and more than 20 percent in Iowa and South Dakota.

Wind power is boosting our utility grid reliability in more areas than just the Plains states. This summer, the New York Independent System Operator noted that locally generated wind power helped our state meet record peak demand during the July heat wave.

When comparing U.S. wind development to Europe, it is important to remember that U.S. wind resources are of higher quality, even though wind energy now provides 10 percent to 30 percent of the electricity in Germany, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Denmark.

Several New York regions have excellent wind resources, both on- and offshore, which is why it’s no surprise that there are 2,000 MW of new projects – enough to power the equivalent of more than half a million homes – already in queue. Electricity generated by these projects will displace the most expensive, least efficient sources of energy on the utility grid, saving consumers money while reducing pollution.

The wind industry is also creating jobs in our state. Eight in-state factories produce products for the wind industry. Since nearly 70 percent of every turbine being installed in the United States is American-made, these numbers will likely only grow as we continue to develop our wind resources.

While there is no silver bullet for meeting our energy needs, wind power is a proven source of electricity that provides substantial economic development and health benefits while reducing harmful pollution. Responsibly sited wind power should continue to play an important role in our state’s future energy choices.

Valerie Strauss

Interim Executive Director

Alliance for Clean Energy New York