Jiminy Peak, a western Mass. mountain resort, marked the one year anniversary on August 15 of flipping the switch and connecting its 1.5 megawatt GE wind turbine to the grid. The turbine, nicknamed Zephyr, is now generating a full third of the ski resort's power. But getting there wasn't exactly a breeze.
Nestled in the Berkshires, Jiminy Peak claims to be the first privately held company in the nation to have installed a megawatt class turbine. Its Zephyr (named after the Greek god of wind) sits on a 253-ft. tower, with each of its three blades reaching approximately 123 feet into the air, making the wind turbine taller than the Statue of Liberty.
The turbine generates 4.6 million kWh (kilowatt hours) of energy or enough to light up the TVs, DVDs, microwaves and refrigerators in 613 homes for a year. Most of the power is generated in winter, when mountain winds peak, and demand at the resort is at its highest, due to the demands of snowmaking equipment.
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