Southern Somerset County has received an ongoing economic boost thanks to the wind industry.
On Christmas eve, 68 new wind turbine generators went online becoming the county's largest wind farm.
Northampton, Larimer and Greenville townships.
In total the Twin Ridges Wind Farm has the capacity to generate approximately 140 megawatts of electric power — producing enough electricity to power more than 45,000 households each year, according to the company. While it is the largest wind farm in Somerset County, it is the second largest in the state.
In addition to having a new power source, the local property owners will benefit from the project. The 89 landowners will receive more than $1.5 million per year in royalty, easement and other payments. That's an average of almost $17,000 a year for each property owner, varying on how much land they have invested.
The four townships are expected to share up to $223,040 annually in payments in lieu of taxes. The Berlin and Meyersdale school districts will divide up to $93,000 per year. Somerset County will receive up to $37,000 a year. The company will require eight to 12 new jobs to operate and maintain the project. Operation and maintenance will require approximately $2 million of local goods and services.
That's a lot of new revenue to further stimulate the local economy. It could help some of the local struggling family farms stay in operation.