FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 4, 2011
Wind power projects generate more than $1 million in 2010
Turbines on state trust lands create clean energy and increased funds for public schools
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today that for the first time, in 2010, wind power projects on state trust lands earned more than a million dollars in one year. Revenue generated from the leases help build or renovate kindergarten through 12th grade public schools statewide.
“As the demand for clean energy continues to increase, projects on state trust lands will help provide a solution for a changing environment and funds for schools. It’s a win-win,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark.
Scattered across southeast Washington are increasingly productive wind power projects, of which state trust lands are a part. DNR began leasing land for wind power in 2004 and has worked steadily with project owners contributing to the clean energy grid. DNR-managed trust lands are part of 11 projects in operation and others in development. All of these projects are just east of the Cascade passes, in southeast parts of the state and at the east end of the Columbia Gorge.
Currently, operating turbines number 108 on state trust lands, potentially generating 191 megawatts of energy. In addition, some of the trust lands on which the towers sit also earn other funding for the trusts with uses such as agriculture or grazing. Participation of DNR-managed trust lands in the 11 projects ranges from 2.5 percent to 27 percent.
Using a comparison with energy generated with the most efficient natural gas power plants, conservatively, it is estimated that the 108 turbines on state trust lands with 191.22 megawatt capacity prevent 251,263 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. This is equivalent to removing 48,320 passenger vehicles from the highway each year. Comparisons with coal or other less-clean energy generation would be higher. This estimate assumes that the wind turbines are producing at about 30 percent capacity.
State trust lands–managed with care
DNR, led by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, manages more than
three million acres of state-owned trust forest, agricultural, range lands and commercial properties. These state trust lands earn income to build schools, universities and other state institutions, and help fund local services in many counties.
In addition to earning income, trust lands ecosystems are habitat for native plant and animal species, protecting clean and abundant water, and offering public recreation and education, and research opportunities statewide.
Peter Goldmark is Washington’s 13th Commissioner of Public Lands since statehood in 1889.
Media Contact: Jane Chavey, Senior Communications Manager, 360-902-1721, firstname.lastname@example.org
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