How wind energy fuels community
To the editor:
New York is known for its hard-working people who strive to improve our state in innovative ways. We won’t rest until we see progress and movement, and that mindset holds true in the case of the energy transition. New Yorkers don’t want to be left behind in taking advantage of independent and reliable energy resources — in fact, we want to lead the way on this front. This stance is why we take the opportunities presented to us to adopt change for a new era of energy generation–with one such example being EDP Renewables North America’s (EDPR NA) Jericho Rise Wind Farm, where I work. The wind farm’s wind generation is equivalent to the consumption of 32,000 New York homes and provides the state with clean energy and economic benefits.
The most rewarding part of working in the renewable energy industry is doing my part as an operations manager to look out for our landowners and helping my community. Our wind farm’s consistent payments to landowners ensure farmers have the comfort of knowing they have an additional income source even in the more challenging crop yielding years. Apart from the consistent financial gain our landowners receive from housing turbines and infrastructure on their land, the fieldwork is more accessible for many landowners because we built new roads and infrastructure during Jericho Rise’s construction, which landowners are free to use.
Jericho Rise Wind Farm has also disbursed more than $3.4 million in cumulative payments to local governments, enhancing schools, emergency services, and local infrastructure, and spent an estimated $10.2 million within 50 miles of the wind farm, supporting local contractors, stores, restaurants, and gas stations. Through the tax breaks provided by the wind farm and the circulation of funding in the region, communities can put more time, money, and effort into making their town a home to all of its citizens. Further and aside from monetary payments and spending, wind farms also bring long-term career opportunities. In fact, a wind turbine technician is one of the fastest-growing jobs in the United States, with a projected growth rate of 44%. With many available job opportunities, our neighbors and friends can seek employment right in their backyard.
During COVID-19, EDPR NA contributed monetary funding to help with the extra, unanticipated costs the schools and town incurred. These donations provided relief for the area, farmers, and landowners. The reliability of wind turbines was able to keep their dreams alive. It was a bright spot during a considerably dark period.
The renewable energy sector will continue to grow as more counties see the benefits of their investment. Wind farms like Jericho Rise offer economic value and keep the financial capital in our communities. Community support is the foundation of my work in renewable energy. Just like the people who choose to live in New York, I am proud to call this place home and to work on its clean energy transition. It is a point of pride and privilege for me to be able to help create a cleaner energy landscape so that our children can experience a brighter future.