Ground was broken on the largest federally owned wind farm in the nation on Tuesday at the Pantex Plant near Amarillo reported the Amarillo Globe-News. Officials from the National Nuclear Security Administration, Texas Tech University, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency and contractor Siemens Government Technologies were present.
Steve Erhart, manager of the National Nuclear Security Administration said, “We are literally breaking new ground with the intent to increase the use of renewable energy at Pantex and to encourage proliferation of this type of energy resource at other National Nuclear Security Administration and Department of Energy sites.”
The project will generate 47 million kilowatt hours, or more than 60% of Pantex’s annual electrical needs when it’s completed. Ernhart said that will drastically reduce the company’s carbon emission, and is equal to taking 7,200 cars off the highways or planting 850,000 trees.
The project is completely industry financed. Judy Marks, president and CEO of Siemens Government Technologies Inc., said Siemens will be paid directly from the guaranteed energy savings from the turbines under an 18-year energy savings performance contract. That amount is expected to average $2.8 million annually.
Pantex assembles, dismantles, and modifies nuclear weapons for the U.S. arsenal.