Renewable Energy World honors a truly deserving recipient, Greensberg, Kansas, a town that reinvented itself after a devastating natural disaster to become “the greenest town in America”
In May 2007, an EF-5 tornado leveled Greensburg, Kansas, destroying 95% of the town and leaving a path of devastation two miles wide. Eleven of the town’s 1,400 residents died in the disaster. In their communal search for meaning in the days that followed this catastrophe, the people of Greensburg individually and collectively agreed to rebuild their town as “the greenest town in America.” In his first address to a joint session of Congress, President Obama said, “Greensburg … is being rebuilt by its residents as a global example of how clean energy can power an entire community – how it can bring jobs and businesses to a place where piles of bricks and rubble once lay.”
The Greensburg Wind Farm—which includes 10 Suzlon wind turbines, 1.25 MW each—grew out of this vision. The project was developed by John Deere Renewables and went live in March 2010. Total project cost was $23.3 million, with a loan from U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development providing $17.4 million and the remainder of project funded through an equity investment from John Deere Wind Energy and gap funding from NativeEnergy, Inc.
NativeEnergy is the Renewable Energy Credit (REC) marketer for this project. A portion of the project’s REC output will provide the town with wind power to help it achieve its goal of being the “greenest town in America.” The majority of the RECs will be purchased by NativeEnergy for its clients, for whom the energy generated by the wind farm will displace fossil-based energy and reduce hundreds of thousands of tons of carbon pollution that otherwise would enter our atmosphere.
Take a bow, Greensberg. You are an inspiration.