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House Passes Wind Energy Bill

BoltonValleywindturbineThe U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that will authorize a comprehensive program to improve the efficiency, reliability and cost-effectiveness of U.S. wind energy systems, reports North American Wind Power.

The Wind Energy Research and Development Act of 2009, H.R.3165, was sponsored by Rep. Paul Tonko, D, N.Y.

The bill requires the Secretary of Energy to carry out a program of research and development to improve the energy efficiency, reliability and capacity of wind turbines; optimize the design and adaptability of wind energy systems; and reduce the cost of construction, generation and maintenance of wind energy systems, according to the press release.

The bill would also create a demonstration program to measure wind energy performance including a full range of wind conditions across the country, and requires that the demonstration programs be conducted in collaboration with private industry.

The bill authorizes $200 million per year from 2010 through 2014 for these programs.

In light of the new legislation, Bolton Valley Resort in Vermont has announced that its wind turbine project is underway, and will be operational in late autumn. The wind turbine is designed to produce in excess of 300,000 kilowatts of power annually, the equivalent of electricity consumed by 40 to 45 Vermont households. It will be located near the top of the resort’s Vista Quad lift in an existing clearing adjacent to the ski patrol hut.

The turbine, a Northwind 100 manufactured by Northern Power Systems of Barre, Vt., measures 121 feet in height from the ground to the top of the tower. The turbine will feed excess power that is not consumed by Bolton Valley into the grid through the Vermont net metering program. It is the first turbine at a Vermont ski area, the second at a New England area and the third at a ski area in the United States.

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