US Wind Force, LLC (US Wind Force) has filed an application for a Siting Certificate with the Public Service Commission (PSC) of West Virginia for its proposed Mineral county wind project. The Pinnacle wind farm at NewPage is comprised of 23 turbines planned for Green Mountain, near Keyser. The turbines will generate around 55 megawatts, 169 million-kilowatt hours of energy per annum. This translates to enough power for over 14,000 households annually.
The cost to construct the project is estimated at $131 million.
Property taxes generated in Mineral county are projected at $429,000 annually, placing it among the county’s largest taxpayers. The company also plans to establish a community benefit fund that will provide locally controlled financial resources for community projects. Taxes, lease payments, and the community benefit fund will average $1.5 million per year over the first 25 years of operation, with most of it staying in West Virginia.
As part of the project planning, the company established a Community Advisory Panel (CAP) to create ongoing dialogue with community members from Keyser, New Creek, Piedmont, and Elk Garden. Members continue to meet monthly to discuss the project and its progress. In addition to meeting with CAP members, US Wind Force has met frequently with local civic and service organizations in Mineral County and has conducted four project open houses.
This project offers Mineral County and its residents economic benefit that begins with construction and continues for the life of the project. $304,000 of the $429,000 average annual property tax revenue will go to the local school system and its students, for a total of more than $7.6 million over 25 years. The remaining money can be used to fund other services through the County’s budget – things like emergency services. These are new dollars to the county’s revenue stream that can positively affect the future of the county, said Dave McAnally, US Wind Force chairman and chief executive officer. Additionally, the community benefit fund will be locally directed and will be used to fund community-based projects.
NewPage Corporation, a coated paper manufacturer in North America, is partnering with US Wind Force on this project. Six of the turbines will be located on NewPage property adjacent to the company’s Luke, Maryland facility. NewPage is proud to partner strategically with US Wind Force, especially during a time when our country is facing significant energy challenges. This partnership is an example of our commitment to support the growth of sustainable energy and is consistent with our goal to continuously explore renewable energy opportunities for our facilities, said David Bonistall, vice president, Environmental, Health and Safety for NewPage.