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NY wind power reaches milestone

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You may not have noticed it, but New York hit a milestone last week when all the wind plants in the state reached a total output of 1,000 megawatts

That milestone was reached at 6 p.m. on Feb. 19, according to the New York Independent System Operator. NYISO is the nonprofit that operates the state’s bulk electricity grid. A year ago, the total wind output reached 375mw.

“This is a significant milestone for New York’s power system,” said NYISO president and CEO Stephen Whitley. The 1,000mw generated is about 5 percent of the nearly 21,000 megawatts of total system demand. NYISO said there are currently wind power projects totaling 8,000mw being studied.

One megawatt can power 1,000 homes.

Last year, NYISO put in place procedures to predict the output of each of the wind plants. It contracted with AWS Truewind of Colonie to provide wind power forecasts. A call to AWS Truewind was not immediately returned.

AWS, a consulting firm that specializes in renewable energy and wind mapping, is one of the companies behind the Maple Ridge Wind Farm on the Tug Hill Plateau in Lewis County, a $350 million project that will generate 900 megawatt hours of power a year with 195 turbines spread out over 1,500 acres.

The forecasting system AWS installed for NYISO relies on meteorological data and historical trends of existing wind projects to plan for future wind projects. The system helps the NYISO predict how much power each wind project will feed into the system.

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