First Wind, an independent U.S.-based renewable energy company, recently announced the release of the company’s annual Community Report. The report highlights the company’s proactive community outreach and philanthropic activity within its host communities throughout 2013, which includes the communities home to the company’s wind and solar projects in operation or advanced stages of development. The 2013 report includes details on First Wind’s increasing community and civic funding, as well as its support of environmental stewardship and educational opportunities through the more than $520,000 given in support and donations to community organizations.
“2013 proved to be a very busy year for First Wind as we began development of five new wind projects and started construction on our first solar projects,” said Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind. “As we entered into three new locations and qualified 443 megawatts (MW) of wind energy for new Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), being engaged members of the community is a core value in our corporate culture and to developing clean, renewable energy across the country. We are dedicated to being good neighbors in the areas where we develop, build and operate renewable energy projects, and we are proud to share our charitable commitments with those neighbors.”
2013 Community Commitment
First Wind operates more than 1,000 MW of generating capacity at wind projects in the Northeast, the West and Hawaii, and being a good neighbor in all of these regions has always been a top priority. In 2013, First Wind presented more than $520,000 to focused areas of giving including community and civic organizations, recreation and environmental causes, and educational organizations.
2013 Educational Commitments
In the fifth year of its annual First Wind Scholars program, First Wind awarded 16 scholarships to qualified graduating seniors in its host communities, who are pursuing their interests in energy, technology and the environment, and the future of renewable energy development in the country. To date, First Wind has awarded scholarships to 59 students throughout the Northeast, West and Hawaii totaling $250,000.
First Wind first partnered with DonorsChoose.org in May 2012 to enhance and expand its outreach in locations where it develops and operates projects, enabling the company to support teachers and their innovative classroom project ideas in a tangible way. In its second full year, First Wind funded 43 projects at 31 schools, which benefitted about 2,600 students in classrooms near many of its projects, including Mars Hill, ME; Sheffield and Lyndonville, VT; Beaver, UT; Boston, MA; Kahuku, HI; Tekoa, WA, along with many others.
2013 Civic Pledges and Community Events
First Wind sponsored over 125 local causes within host communities in 2013, including a donation to Bigrock Mountain community ski area in Mars Hill, ME to aid in continuing operations for the upcoming ski season. Other funding opportunities include continued support, where First Wind donated to Friends of Whitman Library to support after school programs for both children and adults in the communities surrounding the Palouse Wind project in Whitman County, WA.
First Wind also hosted its annual Stetson Snowmobile Ride-In, bringing together snowmobilers from across the area to see the company’s wind projects up-close while enjoying the scenic beauty of the area, as well as its first ATV Ride-In through the Rollins Wind Project in Lincoln, ME.
2013 Environmental Stewardship
First Wind’s commitment to environmental stewardship is of utmost importance, and was underscored in 2013 with the unveiling of two bird enclosures near its Kaheawa Wind projects. In an effort to provide monitoring and conservation benefits to the federally endangered Newell’s Shearwater and Hawaiian Petrel bird species, First Wind collaborated with leading experts and environmental consultants to protect and preserve the natural habitat. First Wind also partnered with Maui Cultural Lands in its efforts to stabilize, protect and restore Hawaiian cultural and environmental resources. Overall, First Wind donated over $129,000 towards environmental and outdoor recreation organizations.
With the additional of development of five new wind projects and construction beginning on its first four solar projects, First Wind’s entire fleet produced approximately 2 million megawatt hours (MWh) of clean, renewable energy in 2013, which avoided nearly 2.3 million tons of CO2 and has the capacity to power nearly 300,000 homes annually.
The Community Report is an annual publication from First Wind, highlighting the company’s continued and growing commitment to its neighbors in the Northeast, West and Hawaii. From responsible siting on day one to support for the next generation of engineers, community commitment is an integral part of how First Wind does business.
First Wind’s full 2013 Community Report can be found at this link.
Filed Under: News