Searsburg Wind and Deerfield Wind
The eleven 550 kW wind turbines that make up Searsburg's 6 MW wind plant in southwestern Vermont provide emission-free electricity for 1,704 average Vermont households. This project is owned by Green Mountain Power and commenced operations in July, 1997. At the time it was the largest wind farm east of the Mississippi River. Searsburg also serves as an educational resource and research tool for investigating wind generation in cold climates. As a result, Searsburg has established the standard for wind energy generation in the northeast's harsh climate exemplified by the facility's >90% availability over its 21 years of operation.
VERA was instrumental in helping Green Mountain Power bring this showcase project from concept to completion with project management, wind resource and energy assessment, permitting guidance, and community outreach. As a direct result of VERA's efforts, Searsburg participated in the Electric Power Research Institute's (EPRI's) Turbine Verification Program. VERA continued to monitor Searsburg's operational performance and provide educational site visits well into the Projects second decade of its operation.
As Deerfield Wind, LLC began plans to expand the project, VERA was brought on board to direct the development process. Putting together a collaborative team of more than 30 local, state, regional and federal stakeholders, VERA conceived this cooperative process as a means of guiding the project toward a design that benefits the general public, as well as a wide variety of competing interests.
The Deerfield Project was purchased in 2006, and brought online by Avangrid Renewables in 2017. The 30 MW wind farm includes 15 wind turbines which produce enough clean, renewable energy to power roughly 14,000 average Vermont homes annually.