State’s first wind farm in Madison County celebrates 20th anniversary

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MADISON — New York state and local leaders are marking the 20th anniversary of EDP Renewables North America’s Madison Wind Farm — the first wind farm in New York.

Located in the Madison County town of Madison, the wind farm came online in 2000 and for 20 years has provided clean energy to local communities and the New York Power Authority. When the wind farm was first built, it generated excitement across the state and helped prove that renewable energy could be competitive with conventional power plants in New York.

At 11.55 megawatts, the Madison Wind Farm is relatively small compared to wind farms being installed today but it has nonetheless resulted in significant revenue to local governments and landowners.

“As landowners who have lived in Madison County nearly our entire lives, it was exciting to participate in the project and help make New York’s first wind farm a reality,” said local landowners Brenda and Harold Mason. “Companies like EDPR have been providing renewable energy and economic benefits for the last two decades and counting. The Madison Wind Farm is living proof that New York can lead with clean energy, and we hope to see our community continue to embrace new clean energy projects.”

The Madison Wind Farm has made key economic contributions to Madison County over the past two decades, officials said, including $1 million in cumulative payments to local governments and over $600,000 to local landowners since construction.

As the state’s first wind farm, its success has led to the development of other projects, including five additional EDPR projects. EDPR now delivers over 700 MW of wind power in the state, generation that is equivalent to the consumption of nearly 300,000 New York homes.

“Throughout the ups and down of our economy, including with the recent pandemic, EDPR’s Madison Wind Farm has remained a constant, and has become the catalyst for building the New York’s renewable energy economy,” said Town of Madison Supervisor Ron Bono.

“Looking back at this project 20 years later, it is amazing to see how many communities have now reaped the benefits of renewable energy investments over the last two decades, and how many more communities will be able to see new jobs and revenue thanks to New York state’s ambitious target to achieve 70% renewable energy production by the end of the decade,” Bono added.

EDPR’s investments in the community have also included new assistance in light of the pandemic. Most recently, EDPR announced a $3,000 COVID-19 relief grant to the Rome Alliance for Education and a $2,000 grant for the Village of Madison Ambulance. Madison Wind Farm is part of EDP Renewables’ New York operations, which include Marble River Wind Farm, two phases of the Maple Ridge Wind Farm, Jericho Rise Wind Farm and Arkwright Summit Wind Farm.

Collectively EDP Renewables’ clean energy projects represent more than one-third of New York’s wind power capacity and more than $1.2 billion of investments in rural communities.

The anniversary comes at a critical time, officials say, as New York expands its Clean Energy Standard to meet Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s climate and clean energy goals, including a mandate for 70% of the state’s electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2030.

Leaders are calling the success of EDPR’s Madison Wind Farm an early first step for the state’s clean energy leadership and living proof that renewable energy can pave the way for sustainable economic growth by providing affordable energy and jobs for decades to come.

A video on the 20th anniversary of EDPR’s Madison Wind Farm can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hw0WwuRRonw

“As we look back on the last 20 years, the state’s first land-based wind project – EDPR’s Madison Wind Farm – has served as a model for many large-scale renewable projects that have come after it and continues to underscore the significant economic and environmental benefits renewable energy projects bring to New York’s communities,” Doreen M. Harris, acting president and CEO, New York State Energy Research and Development AuthorityNYSERDA said.

“Today wind energy is mainstream, but 20 years ago the Madison Wind Farm captured the public’s imagination and marked a key milestone in New York’s path toward a sustainable energy future,” said Miguel Angel Prado, CEO at EDP Renewables North America.

“EDPR remains committed to helping New York reach its clean energy goals by 2030 through projects that provide critical revenue sources, affordable clean power, and jobs for New Yorkers.”

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