Family helps herald NC GreenPower’s first wind project serving state’s energy supply

November 14, 2006

(Nov. 14, 2006, Clyde, NC) — What began as a contribution to the environment from one Western North Carolina family has become NC GreenPower’s first wind power project to serve the state’s electric supply with cleaner, renewable energy. NC GreenPower announced today the addition of a 10 kilowatt (kW) Bergey wind turbine owned by Dr. and Mrs. Louis Mes.The turbine is located in Clyde, N.C., a mountain community southwest of Asheville. The electricity it generates is added to the state’s power grid through Haywood Electric Membership Corporation (EMC), one of 38 electric utilities offering the NC GreenPower program to customers statewide.

NC GreenPower is the first multi-utility green power program in the nation. It was created to encourage the development of renewable energy resources, such as the sun, wind and organic matter by individuals and businesses located in North Carolina.Today, North Carolina’s wind power resources remain largely untapped. The wind project in Clyde will help to further interest in this technology and encourage others to harness this abundant, emissions-free resource.

State Representative Ray Rapp (N.C. House 118th District) joined with local electric utility officers and officials of NC GreenPower to dedicate the wind turbine, heralding the program’s first wind power project currently serving North Carolina’s power supply. And though the turbine’s contribution to the state’s power grid is relatively small in comparison to total customer demand, the significance of a successful wind project in Western North Carolina is tremendous.

“Finding new ways to generate the electricity that we all use is important to our state,” Rep. Rapp said. “And finding ways to do that while protecting North Carolina’s natural resources is a legacy of which we can all be proud.”For Dr. Mes and his wife, their residential wind project is part of a personal philosophy and one element of a carefully considered environmentally-friendly home design.

“I have always been a staunch environmentalist and wanted to build something that was energy efficient and sensible,” said Dr. Mes. “The design of the house is such that heating and cooling are very efficient and air conditioning is not needed at all.”

The installation of both solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind technologies by Asheville-based Solar Dynamics was part of the Mes family’s design to achieve energy independence. Through their equipment, they are able to generate all of their electrical needs and still provide an excess for use beyond their residence on the power grid. Doing so has made them part of an energy community made up of many citizens working to protect the environment.

Each year, the Mes family wind turbine will generate approximately 14,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity which will serve both the needs of their home and add excess energy to the power grid. For every kilowatt-hour generated and added to the grid, the Mes family will receive a payment from both Haywood EMC and NC GreenPower. The combined payment will help to accelerate the payback of the total cost of the system which was approximately $40,000..

“Today we help the Mes family realize their dream of giving something back to the world around them,” said Ken Thomas, manager of marketing and communications at Haywood EMC. “And we join with them in celebrating the great things that are taking place here in this wonderful corner of our state.”

The Mes family wind project is one of more than two dozen NC GreenPower-supported projects across the state that are adding cleaner, renewable electricity to the power grid for everyone to use. Projects range from small scale sites such as home-based solar photovoltaic panels (PV) and wind turbines to industrial-sized facilities such as landfill methane gas plants. All renewable energy resources are cleaner to use than coal. But because these resources are newer and not yet produced on a scale comparable to a coal plant, their cost per kWh to produce is higher.

“The NC GreenPower program was created to provide economic incentives for the generation of electricity from renewable resources,” said Maggy Inman, vice president of NC GreenPower. “That incentive is over and above what the utility pays for the power and is essential to making these projects viable.”

The incentives that NC GreenPower provides come from voluntary tax-deductible contributions that North Carolina citizens can make through their electric bills. For every $4 contributed to the program, 100 kWh of renewable energy is generated and added to the grid by a supplier located in the state. The energy generated from green power sources offsets an equivalent amount of energy that would have been generated from a traditional power source. In North Carolina, that source is, most often, coal. By increasing the amount of electricity generated from renewable resources, NC GreenPower participants are helping to improve environmental quality and keep energy dollars in the state.

The 100 kWh generated from each $4 contribution will supply about one-tenth of an average home’s power supply. A monthly contribution of $4 for one year ($48) will offset the consumption of nearly 1,000 pounds of coal required to generate the same amount of electricity. The savings in coal will also result in an annual offset of carbon dioxide, a harmful greenhouse gas released when coal is consumed. The offset of carbon dioxide is equal to planting of 190 trees or driving your car 3,000 fewer miles. All contributions to NC GreenPower are tax deductible and go directly to supporting renewable energy generation in North Carolina.

About NC GreenPower

NC GreenPower is the nation’s first statewide, multi-utility initiative to encourage the development of renewable energy sources. The program taps into technology that transforms renewable energy sources such as wind, sunshine and landfill methane gas into safe and environmentally sustainable power, giving North Carolinians cleaner options for their energy sources. The N.C. Utilities Commission approved the NC GreenPower program plan in January 2003. NC GreenPower is a subsidiary of Advanced Energy, a Raleigh-based nonprofit corporation that helps utility, industrial and residential customers improve the return on their energy investment.

Residential and business customers may voluntarily contribute funds that NC GreenPower will use to purchase power from renewable energy sources in the state. All renewable energy will be generated in North Carolina for the state’s electric supply. Customers also may sign up for the program by contacting their electric provider.

For additional information about NC GreenPower visit