As Vermonters gathered from across the region for the Queen City’sannual First Night celebration, a newly-commissioned community wind farm was available to power the festivities. The Georgia Mountain Community Wind (GMCW) farm, which announced it is now fully operational, is providing approximately 8% of Burlington Electric Department’s (BED) energy demand through a long-term stably priced contract.
The 10 MW community wind farm consists of four wind turbines, which will produce an estimated 27 million kWh annually.
The project is owned by two local business leaders and life-long Vermonters: renewable energy manufacturer and developer David Blittersdorf and Jim Harrison/the Harrison Family.
GMCW is financed locally by Merchants Bank. Lyndon, VT contractors J.A. McDonald performed the site construction and local businesses and services around Chittenden and Franklin counties supported and supplied the project such as Alpha Testing, Graybar, Milton Building Supply, Milton Rentals, Rene’s Gas and Deli, the Apollo Diner and among many others.
Burlington Electric Department General Manager Barbara Grimes commented, “This project fits perfectly into BED’s sustainability goals. We are moving toward a 100 percent renewable power portfolio, and we like power close to home so that these dollars recirculate in the economy. Projects such as Georgia Community Wind are pro-environment and pro-economy.”
“It is incredibly exciting to have this project complete and powering the community. So much about this project features the best of local community wind, from where the energy will be used and where the workers came from, to the project’s local financing,” said Blittersdorf, who is also the President/CEO of solar tracker manufacturer, AllEarth Renewables. “Since growing up with a view of Grandpa’s Knob where Vermont’s first wind farm stood in the 1940s, I’ve wanted to see Vermonters return to our roots of greater self-reliance and stewardship for our future.”
The project was built among the Harrison Family’s maple sugar operation on Georgia Mountain in Milton and on land in Georgia owned by Green Crow Corporation, a timber products firm with a local office in Waterbury.
“We’ve been an employer in the community and feel strongly that local renewable generation is critical for our future,” said Jim Harrison. “This project and our sugaring operation fit right in to Vermont’s proud tradition of self-reliance and a productive landscape.”
Harrison, his wife Janet and their children, are life-long Vermonters and local business owners and operators of third-generation concrete businesses serving northwestern Vermont – Harrison Concrete Construction, Inc., and Harrison Redi-Mix Corporation.
GMCW’s four 2.5 MW Goldwind wind turbines include American-made blades, towers and other US domestic content. GMCW hired local Vermont expertise, including project managers (Northeast Wind), contractors, landscape architects, archeologists, historic preservationists, financial advisors, legal, engineering, economists, loggers, foresters, and environmental scientists.
Georgia Mountain Community Wind