Rueckert Advertising & Public Relations in Albany, NY

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The Answer Is Blowing in the Wind.

DECEMBER 14, 2011
Imagine an America where at least half of our electricity comes from renewable sources such as wind, solar, wave, and geothermal. It may sound impossible, but it's not. Other countries, especially in Europe, are already on track to get there. Germany has set a goal of 45 percent renewable energy by 2030 and Denmark is hoping to be completely fossil-fuel free by then.

In New York, wind energy remains an important component of the state's clean, renewable energy initiative and is helping to meet the Renewable Portfolio Standard of 25% of energy produced from renewable sources by the year 2013. As of this fall, 16 wind energy projects are operating with a rated capacity of about 1,339.2 MW in Steuben, Erie, Clinton, Franklin, Herkimer, Lewis, Madison, and Wyoming counties, producing enough electricity to power 480,000 homes, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 1,500,000 tons. According to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, New York's wind resource has the potential to triple in size to more than 5,000 megawatts (MW) of clean energy.

Although New York is fortunate to have many high quality wind resources, insufficient transmission is preventing lower-cost power generated in predominantly rural locations from reaching high-demand markets such as New York City and Long Island. Consequently, the fastest growing sector of New York's wind power business is now community-scale wind. These projects, which range in size from one to more than a dozen turbines, can help offset electric purchases at schools, municipalities or electric cooperatives. Community-scale wind is becoming increasingly attractive because it doesn't require new high-voltage power lines. Instead, such projects connect to the existing systems that serve the surrounding community, producing energy that is home-grown and home-consumed. Community-scale wind projects also provide substantial benefits to host communities. For instance, a 20MW wind project would provide more than $160,000 in additional revenues to the town, city and schools. Such a project would also employ approximately 100 people and purchase up to $10 million in materials and labor from the region during construction.

Rueckert Advertising recently started working with Seattle-based Ridgeline Energy to raise awareness of community-scale wind projects in New York, as well as encourage the state to continue supporting the wind industry. Our PR duties include coordinating radio and TV public affairs interviews, lining up public presentations, pitching opinion pieces in regional newspapers and crafting press releases for the company, which is developing community-scale projects in nearby Herkimer, as well as Delaware, Otsego and Steuben counties.

Below, Patrick Doyle (center), vice president and chief of development at Ridgeline Energy and Tim Ahrens (left), project manager, discuss community-scale wind with Joe Condon, host of ION Network's The Subject Matters. The show airs in Albany, Syracuse and Buffalo.  Click here to watch the segment: