Fairfax County Enters into Agreement to Purchase Wind Energy


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010

April 15, 2005

 

Fairfax County Enters into Agreement to Purchase Wind Energy
First Local Government Partnership to Purchase Wind Energy

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly announced today that the county has entered into a two-year contract worth $92,800 per year with Washington Gas Energy Services to purchase five percent of its electricity as wind energy through the Virginia Energy Purchasing Governmental Association.

The process to pursue the purchase of wind energy was initiated by Fairfax County and marks the first time a local government partnership has worked together to use this new environmentally sound energy source. The county has agreed to purchase 5.8 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy credits of electricity each year, which is enough electricity to power the Pennino Building, one of the largest county office buildings, for an entire year. The Pennino Building is located at 12011 Government Center Parkway in Fairfax.

“Wind energy is an exciting tool for Fairfax County to use to improve our region’s air quality,” said Connolly. “The county has always been a regional leader in environmental stewardship, and protecting air quality is one of the elements in the Board of Supervisors’ environmental plan. This new initiative is one more concrete example of the county’s commitment to the environment.”

“The Board’s leadership in the pursuit of cleaner air directly benefits all Fairfax County residents, but is especially important for our children. Buying clean wind power, which produces no air pollutants, is one of the best ways we can improve and protect the quality of the air we all breathe,” Connolly further stated. “Fairfax County is making a significant commitment to improving the environment for the benefit of everyone who lives and works in the county.”

The wind energy purchase is a major step toward meeting the region’s air quality attainment goals for the reduction of particulate matter pollution and ground level ozone pollution, both of which can cause haze and smog. It also reduces carbon dioxide, which is a known “greenhouse” gas, and organic mercury compounds such as methylmercury, which is released into the air during the coal-burning process and eventually is deposited into our waterways. According to the EPA, mercury exposure at high levels can be harmful to people of all ages.

The environmental benefits from Fairfax County’s wind energy purchase are equivalent to a yearly reduction of 6,264,000 pounds of carbon dioxides, 23,200 pounds of sulfur dioxides and 11,600 pounds of nitrogen oxides.

The wind power will be generated at the Mountaineer Wind farm in Tucker County, West Virginia. Wind farms are facilities that use wind turbines, also known as windmills, to produce electricity when the wind turns the turbines. Areas where average wind speeds exceed 12 mph are currently the most attractive locations for wind farms. Electricity from the wind farm is fed into the “power pool” supplying the regional electrical grid.

Wind-generated electricity is clean and inexhaustible. No fuel is burned to produce the power so no pollutants are emitted. Wind power displaces power from coal, oil, nuclear and gas facilities and therefore prevents their pollutants and radioactive wastes. Additionally, it marginalizes the impacts of drilling, mining, shipping, burning and storing associated with fossil fuels.

For more information, contact the Fairfax County Department of Cable Communications and Consumer Protection at 703-222-8435, TTY 711.

FAIRFAX COUNTY IS COMMITTED TO A POLICY OF NONDISCRIMINATION IN ALL COUNTY PROGRAMS, SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES AND WILL PROVIDE REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS UPON REQUEST. TO REQUEST SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS, CALL 703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935. PLEASE ALLOW FIVE WORKING DAYS IN ADVANCE OF EVENTS IN ORDER TO MAKE THE NECESSARY ARRANGEMENTS

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

ADA Accessibility | Website Accessibility
Awards | FOIA | Mobile | Using this Site | Web Disclaimer & Privacy Policy | Get Adobe Reader
Official site of the County of Fairfax, Virginia, © Copyright 2013

Website Feedback Website Feedback    Globe with various flags representing Web site language translations   Language Translations

Return to Graphic Version