Water District Contracts for Wind Power

Feb. 1, 2007
Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) plans to use wind power for one-third of its electricity needs...

Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) plans to use wind power for one-third of its electricity needs, and has entered into a 10-year wind power agreement that could lower energy expenditures by an estimated $20 million dollars while providing long-term price stability.

“This initiative benefits our customers in many ways,” said WSSC General Manager Andrew Brunhart. “Wind power saves our ratepayers money on energy costs and improves air quality by reducing the amount of greenhouse gases released into the environment.”

WSSC is contracting with Constellation Energy Projects & Services Group of Baltimore, MD, to purchase power from a wind farm to be constructed in Forward, PA (in Somerset County). WSSC’s arrangement involves paying a fixed price over 10 years for 85% of the farm’s wind power output.

The program is designed to shield WSSC ratepayers from volatile electric prices. Unlike most green power purchases that involve renewable energy credits, WSSC will purchase actual electricity from a specific wind farm. While most people understand the environmental and cost impacts of this type of project, according to Brunhart, there is a broader perspective.

“The size and scope of this project is of global significance. Purchasing power generated from wind lessens our dependence on foreign oil,” he said.

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