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Gov. Edward Rendell, D-Pa., local elected officials and energy leaders joined the Somerset County community to officially open the Casselman Wind Power Project near Garrett, Pa.

Eight of Casselman's 23 turbines sit above a former coal mine. Altogether, the turbines produce 34.5 MW. FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. has a 23-year agreement to purchase Casselman’s output.

"Pennsylvania is rapidly becoming a leader among states that are developing renewable and alternative energy sources and implementing advanced energy efficiency and conservation technologies," says Rendell.

The project was supported by a $500,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority to offset the increased foundation costs for the wind turbines. Ultimately, the power generated at Casselman will be delivered to customers of FirstEnergy Solutions Corp.

The site was also used to study the interaction between bats and wind turbines. From late July to mid-September, Iberdrola Renewables, working with independent scientists from Bat Conservation International, conducted a controlled experiment in which selected wind turbines were stopped during certain wind conditions. This represents the first U.S.-based effort to study the effects of shutting down turbines on reducing bat deaths.

SOURCE: Iberdrola Renewables

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