Fairfax County Expands Purchase of Wind Energy


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director of Public Affairs
703-324-3187, TTY 711, Fax 703-324-2010
Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
publicaffairs@fairfaxcounty.gov

May 3, 2007

Fairfax County Expands Purchase of Wind Energy

Assists County in Meeting Regional Clean Air Goals

Fairfax County has entered into a three-year contract with 3 Phases Energy to purchase more than 24 million kilowatt hours of clean, renewable wind energy through the Virginia Energy Purchasing Governmental Association. By the end of the contract term, wind power will account for 10 percent of the county’s annual electricity consumption, up from the current 5 percent. 

Under the contract, Fairfax County will purchase increasing amounts of renewable energy certificates each year to offset millions of pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. During the contract’s third year, the purchase will prevent the release of more than 12.53 million pounds of carbon dioxides, with an equivalent environmental benefit of removing more than 1,200 cars from area roadways for a year or the amount of carbon annually stored in 4,175 acres of trees. 

“Purchasing wind energy is one of the many tools Fairfax County is utilizing in our effort to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly. “Whether it is converting our fleets to hybrid vehicles, constructing green buildings or purchasing wind energy, we as local governments must take the lead in addressing the challenges posed by global climate change. Fairfax County is currently working with the Sierra Club and other partners on a national ‘Cool Counties’ initiative that will do just that.”

In addition to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, the wind-power purchase will reduce emissions of sulfur dioxides, nitrogen oxides and organic mercury compounds like methylmercury, which is released into the air during the coal-burning process. The wind energy purchase continues the county’s commitment toward meeting the region’s air quality attainment of particulate matter and ground-level ozone pollution, both of which can cause haze and smog.

The wind power will be generated primarily at the Locust Ridge Wind Farm in Schuylkill County, Pa. The 13 modern wind turbines on this site stand close to 400 feet tall and generate clean, renewable electricity when the wind turns the turbines. 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 chairman’s office at 703-324-2321, TTY 711. 

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For more news and information, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news.

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