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Somerset in Somerset County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Wind Power

 
 
Wind Power Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kathy Walker, October 5, 2008
1. Wind Power Marker
Inscription.  
Windmills on the horizon
Wind is an abundant resource, which can be used to generate pollution-free electricity. On the distant horizon is the Somerset wind farm which is one of several wind farms of Pennsylvania. This wind farm has six windmills that produce enough clean energy to meet the annual electric consumption of 2,500 average Pennsylvanian homes.

How wind is formed
Winds are formed by the unequal heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the irregularities of the earth's surface, and the rotation of the earth. Wind flow patterns are modified by the earth's terrain, bodies of water, and vegetative cover. The average wind speed at the Somerset wind farm ranges from 15.7 to 16.8 mile per hour measured 160-feet above the earth's surface.

Making electricity from wind
Wind turbines turn in the moving air and power an electric generator that produces an electric current. Wind turbines are often grouped together into a single wind plant, known as a wind farm, and generate bulk electrical power. Electricity from the wind farm is fed into the local electric grid and then is distributed to customers
Reinforced concrete foundation image. Click for full size.
By Kathy Walker, October 5, 2008
2. Reinforced concrete foundation
Closeup of a picture on the marker.
just as it is with conventional power plants.

For more information on wind power, visit the American Wind Energy Association web site (www.awea.org).

Pennyslvania Turnpike Commission
Many people, businesses, organizations, federal and state agencies, and educational institutions chose to purchase wind-generated electricity. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) is purchasing the electricity used in their Harrisburg administrative office from Pennsylvania wind farms. The PTC's commitment of purchasing 2,700 megawatt-hours/year (almost 100% of the electricity generated from one of the Somerset windmills) is helping to support to the Somerset wind farm.

Neat facts for the Somerset Wind Farm
Construction:
Goundbreaking: June 2001 • Operational: November 2001
Foundation: Concrete: 156 cubic yeards/ Windmill (makes a 3' x 3' sidewalk over one mile long) Base diameter: 38 feet
Tower: Made from tubular steel (3 sections) • Height/ weight: 213 feet (total) / 89 tons
Blades: Fiberglass blades are 112 feet long
Rotor diameter is 231 feet (10% larger than a Boeing 747 jet)
Revolutions: 11-20 rpm (one revolution every 2-3 seconds)
Tip Speed: 155 miles/ hour
Height to top of blade (maximum height): 330 feet
Based upon Pennsylvania's fuel mix Somerset windmills:
Save
Single blade as shipped image. Click for full size.
By Kathy Walker, October 5, 2008
3. Single blade as shipped
Closeup of a picture on the marker.
15,825 tones of carbon dioxide from being emitted/ year (equivalent to removing 2,400 vehicles from the road)
Save 110 tons of sulfur dioxide from being emitted/ year
Save 40 tons of nitrous oxides from being emitted/ year

Supporting Wind Power
Like the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, homes and busiesses can support power. For more information on how to support sustainable energy resources such as wind power, visit the following web sites:
Clean Your Air (www.cleanyourair.org)
West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund (www.wppsef.org)

Funding for this educational display was provided by the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund (WPPSEF). Photographs courtesy of Robert and Tomalee Will. Assistance provided by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, FPL Energy, GE Wind, Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition, and Community Energy.
 
Erected by West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund (WPPSEF).
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EnvironmentIndustry & Commerce.
 
Location. 39° 59.996′ N, 79° 2.672′ W. Marker is in Somerset, Pennsylvania, in Somerset County. Marker can be reached from Pennsyvania Turnpike (Interstate 76). Marker has been moved from the South
Blades connected to hub image. Click for full size.
By Kathy Walker, October 5, 2008
4. Blades connected to hub
Closeup of a picture on the marker.
Somerset Service Plaza to the North Somerset Service Plaza on the other side of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Somerset PA 15501, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Flight 93 National Memorial (a few steps from this marker); The Dwight D. Eisenhower Highway (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Blue Star Memorial Highway (about 600 feet away); Rural Electrification (approx. 0.4 miles away); Harmon Husband (approx. 1.4 miles away); 142nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry (approx. 1.9 miles away); Adam Schneider (approx. 1.9 miles away); Somerset County World War I Memorial (approx. 1.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Somerset.
 
Construction of windmills image. Click for full size.
By Kathy Walker, October 5, 2008
5. Construction of windmills
Closeup of a picture on the marker.
Wind Power Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kathy Walker, October 5, 2008
6. Wind Power Marker
The wind farm is (barely) visible on the horizon.
Wind Farm image. Click for full size.
By Kathy Walker, October 5, 2008
7. Wind Farm
View from eastbound Pennsylvania Turnpike immediately past the Somerset rest area.
Wind Power Marker (revised) image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 1, 2019
8. Wind Power Marker (revised)
"Supporting Wind Power" section has been removed.
North Somerset Service Plaza image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 1, 2019
9. North Somerset Service Plaza
Relocated across the Pennsylvania Turnpike to the North Somerset Service Plaza. Wind farm on the horizon.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 22, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 9, 2008, by Kathy Walker of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,389 times since then and 15 times this year. Last updated on April 16, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on October 10, 2008, by Kathy Walker of Stafford, Virginia.   8, 9. submitted on July 9, 2019, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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