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From visionary idea to reality: Permitting Virginia's First Wind Farm. Tal McBride Partner HNWD, LLC April 7, 2008. H.T. ‘Mac’ McBride, Jr. in 1958.

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from visionary idea to reality permitting virginia s first wind farm
From visionary idea to reality: Permitting Virginia's First Wind Farm

Tal McBride



April 7, 2008

h t mac mcbride jr in 1958
H.T. ‘Mac’ McBride, Jr. in 1958

McBride (right, with his nephew) recalls a day in the early 1960’s when he and an employee fed cattle on his Highland County land.

 As the two men tossed hay from the back of a truck it blew away faster than the cows could eat it. McBride asked his employee to get out of the wind. He says, 'You can't get out of the wind,' McBride said. “And right he was.” Though McBride researched wind at that time, it was something he would forget about for years. When he began to study the idea again in 1998, he said he realized that he was sitting on a good crop. "Let's harvest it," he said."

Green Mountain Wind Farm

The first wind farm built in PA, was built on the Decker dairy farm, which is a reclaimed strip mine; it has eight (8) Nordex N-60, 1.3MW wind turbines

green mountain wind farm
Green Mountain Wind Farm….

…..was the first wind farm we toured.

what s needed for a wind farm
What’s needed for a wind farm?

Wind, Land,Transmission,Roads

HNWD project site:

‘Class 5+’ (16.8-17.9 mph average) wind,

4000 acres of private property,

bisected by an existing 69kV line,

adjacent to US 250.

virginia wind power
Virginia Wind Power

HNWD’s site is ‘Class 5+’’


hnwd project parameters
HNWD Project Parameters

38 Megawatt Limit on 69KV Line

19 turbines – 2 MW each, or possibly

12 turbines - 3 MW each

Hub Height – 80 meters

Not to exceed 400 feet in height

One substation

Underground wiring


Queue position reservations: $ 10,000 (four times: H, J, L, and N07)

Feasibility Study: $ 50,000

System Impact Study $ 100,000

ISA (terms & costs vary) $1,100,000+

karl pfirrmann interim president and ceo of pjm on wind power

Karl Pfirrmann, Interim President and CEO of PJM on wind power:

New Question: How does the system accommodate wind generation when it comes onto the system as you have described?

Answer: When wind generation is available, in order to keep the system in balance, supplies from other sources are either reduced or are not brought on line. Almost always, it is the most expensive power which is “backed down” or “avoided”. In 2006, about 70 percent of the time coal-fired generation is the most expensive generation on the system and is displaced when wind becomes available. The other 25 percent of the time natural gas-fired generation is the most expensive.

New Question: Are there significant costs associated with this process of identifying and backing down generators when wind generation becomes available?

Answer: No. Wind generation does not pose significant costs as a result of its variable nature. The transmission system is sufficiently flexible that it can readily accommodate the change in power flows. And, most generators are sufficiently flexible that they can be backed down with minimal effects on their operating efficiency.

New Question: We hear questions about whether wind energy, because of its variable nature, needs to be “backed up” by conventional generation resources. For example, does having wind on the system increase the need for operating reserves?

Answer: The costs of managing wind as a variable resource are modest, and the owners of wind

generators bear their allocated portion of that cost.