Hempstead Town Blows Past 100,000 Kilowatt Hours; Wind Turbine Now Powers Town’s Hydrogen Fuel Station

With a high-powered wind turbine at the Department of Conservation and Waterways, Supervisor Kate Murray and the Town of Hempstead have blown past the 100,000-kilowatt hour mark, generating over 128,000 kilowatt hours in just 24 weeks. The wind turbine, erected in December 2011, currently provides power to Long Island’s only hydrogen fueling station. This amazing accomplishment confirms Murray’s vision that the answer to clean, renewable energy is truly “blowin’ in the wind.”

Sitting behind the wheel of a hydrogen fuel cell-powered town vehicle – the fuel created as the result of the wind turbine powering the town’s water-to-hydrogen conversion process – Murray drove through a “finish line” banner marking the passing of 125,000 kilowatt hours.

Murray was joined at an event marking the 100,000 kWh accomplishment at the Department of Conservation and Waterways in Point Lookout by Councilwoman Angie Cullin, Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Town Clerk Mark Bonilla and Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin. Also attending were representatives from the wind turbine’s manufacturer, Northern Power Systems; and installer, Aegis Wind. The town also welcomed the United States Department of Energy, Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), Renewable Energy LI, EmPower Solar, Wilke Engineering, the Greater Long Island Clean Cities Coalition, the Lido Beach and Point Lookout Civic Associations and the Point Lookout-Lido Fire Department.

“I am proud to announce that the Town of Hempstead’s wind turbine has generated over 100,000 kilowatt hours since December, helping to power Long Island’s only hydrogen fueling station,” stated Murray. “Powered by the winds off Point Lookout, this wind turbine provides an almost constant supply of clean, renewable energy for the town.”

“Wind power is an integral part of our energy future,” said Cullin. “I am proud to celebrate this important milestone with Supervisor Kate Murray and our green energy partners.”

To date, the wind turbine has provided an estimated 128,000 kilowatt hours. To put this in perspective, the amount of energy generated could power 14 Long Island homes (based on the average home’s electricity demand) for an entire year! What’s more, according to LIPA, the wind turbine is well on its way to generating between 180,000 and 240,000 kilowatt hours annually.

At the town Department of Conservation and Waterways, the wind turbine is used to power a water-to-hydrogen conversion process that results in the creation of hydrogen fuel. This fuel is then stored on location at the town’s hydrogen fueling station, utilized by the town’s fleet of Toyota fuel-cell vehicles, which include a hydrogen/natural gas bus.

Energy experts estimate that the United States produces over 2,200 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually to create electric power. In fact, if the town had produced these 128,000 kilowatt hours of energy using standard fossil fuels, over 171,000 pounds of carbon dioxide would have been created. Instead, utilizing the wind turbine, the town has generated these 128,000 kilowatt hours without creating a single pound of carbon dioxide.

“We are very excited to have the Town of Hempstead included in our growing global 100kW wind turbine fleet,” said Trevor Atkinson, of Northern Power Systems. “Their vision, leadership and commitment to demonstrating 21st century energy sustainability is extraordinary. This clean energy project sets the bar for all others to follow in their footsteps.”

“The Town of Hempstead has been a leader in the pursuit of new, clean ways to generate the energy we use,” said Michael D. Hervey, Chief Operating Officer of the Long Island Power Authority. “LIPA has supported many of the Town’s initiatives and is pleased to have provided technical and financial assistance as the Town’s investment in its Energy Park has grown. I salute Town Supervisor Kate Murray and her team for this latest achievement, powering a hydrogen refueling station with electricity generated by the wind.”

“With the help of Recovery Act funding, clean energy projects across the country are creating skills jobs, reducing our dependence on foreign oil and saving consumers money,” said Ted Donat, Program Lead for the U.S. Energy Department’s Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program. “Community-based renewable energy projects like this one help communities meet their energy needs, support economic development, improve the environment, and create jobs.”

The wind turbine, which cost an estimated $615,000, was funded through a $4.6-million United States Department of Energy grant secured by the Town of Hempstead. The town has also utilized this grant to finance the construction of a 60K solar field, two solar trackers (solar panels which follow the path of the sun), a solar-powered carport and a geothermal energy project that will address heating and cooling needs at the town’s Conservation and Waterways facility.

“I would like to thank all of our Long Island energy partners for their support on this wind turbine project, helping us to reach this historic day,’” concluded Murray. “Twenty-four weeks and 128,000 kilowatt hours after the wind turbine’s blades made their first full rotation, I can truly say that the answer to clean energy is ‘blowin’ in the wind.”