The Greensburg Wind Farm quietly started operating in March, its 10 turbines supplying enough clean, renewable energy to meet the electrical needs of 4,000 households. Not only is every home and business in Greensburg running on energy harnessed from the wind - there is plenty of power available for other communities in the Kansas Power Pool who choose to participate in this project.
On May 1, during Anniversary Weekend, a group of folks who are key to this operation were in town to help us celebrate this remarkable accomplishment. NativeEnergy is the company who is responsible for organizing the renewable energy credits and carbon offsets for the project. There are thousands of people and companies who are participating in the Wind Farm this way, and several sent representatives to town to join in a ceremony at City Hall acknowledging the partnership. The Energy group included Regina Farrell, Marketing Director; Arianna Wammer, Marketing Coordinator; and Joel Boucher, Creative Director. They were joined by Steve Maller, Project Manager for John Deere Wind Energy (the company that owns the Wind Farm); Dave Hamburg, Chief Operating Officer for Vital Choice (purveyors of sustainable seafood and organic products); Michael Dupee, VP for Corporate Social Responsibility at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (who are in partnership with our local Green Bean coffee shop); and Brian Allenby, General Manager of Reverb (a nonprofit that helps musicians green up their tours and educates fans about sustainability).
Regina Farrell spoke to a group of residents and visitors gathered at City Hall on May 1, and made a presentation of a plaque to Mayor Bob Dixson. The plaque acknowledges the partnership between the City and all the folks who are supporting our Wind Farm. These charter supporters of the Farm were praised by Regina: “They [our customers] are reducing their energy use. They figure out how to manufacture and package more efficiently. They help their suppliers become more efficient. And, for the greenhouse gas emissions that they cannot avoid, they buy carbon offsets.”
Michael Dupee spoke to the "special appeal" of the Greensburg Wind Farm project because of the community aspect. "The Greensburg community has had a tough time and they have transformed into the ‘greenest town in America.’ I think these are the best kind of offsets because they create an environmental benefit and create some real, serious social community.”
NativeEnergy folks wrote enthusiastically about their whirlwind trip to Greensburg on their blog. Their photographer, Joel Boucher, took some dramatic photos which can be accessed on this site. We are grateful to the folks who traveled from so far away to share in this special ceremony during the third Anniversary Weekend.
photo credits: top, Joah Bussert; center, Catherine Hart; bottom, Sandy Dyche.