Success  Stories  - Siting Renewable Energy on Contaminated  Land
Steel  Winds, Lackawanna, New York
Development of Wind Power Facility Helps Revitalize Rust Belt City
Site Description

The 30 acre former Bethlehem Steel Mill in Lackawanna, New York sat idle
for 30 years. Situated on 2.2 miles of lakefront property on Lake Erie
approximately six miles south of Buffalo, the former steel mill has been a
symbol of economic downturn. Recently with the help of New York State, the
US EPA, the City of Lackawanna, and private wind energy development
partners, the site has become a promising symbol of economic development.

Property History

For almost 80 years, a steel mill owned by Bethlehem Steel
operated on the shores of Lake Erie . At the height of production,
the steel mill employed over 20,000 people. After the closing of the
mill in the 1970s, the City of Lackawanna saw a ripple  effect
through its economy and a population decline of 30%. Currently,
Lackawanna is designated as a New York State Empire Zone.
Empire Zones are economically distressed cities and communities
throughout New York that offer a variety of tax incentives to spur
economic growth and job creation.

The 30 acre site was contaminated with steel slag and industrial
waste, preventing its redevelopment. In May 2002, EPA awarded
the City of Lackawanna a $200,000 Assessment pilot to investigate
contamination at various properties in the city, including the  mill.
Once the assessment was completed, the steel mill was chosen as a
prime property for wind energy redevelopment because much of
the construction could occur without the excavating the
contaminated soil. Instead, the windmill foundations, service roads
and green space  cover the contamination.

Renewable Energy Development
Property Size:
Site Ownership:
Former Use:
Project Type:
Type of RE:
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Key Partners:

Current Status:
EPA Region 2, Erie County, NY
30 Acres
Private - BQ Energy and UPC Wind
Steel mill
Heavy metals; acid mine drainage
Region 2 Superfund; EPA Brownfields
Wind Power
$40 million
State of New York; City of Lackawanna
BQ Energy; UPC Wind; Clipper
Windpower; EPA
Up and running with an additional 10
wind turbines scheduled to be built
The steel mill is an ideal site for the production of renewable
energy because of existing transmissions lines and roads on the
property. Wind studies concluded the property had a wind energy
potential class of four out of seven and would be a suitable place
for turbines. A wind energy potential class of 4 will generate
between 400 and 500 watts of power per square meter that can be
converted by a wind turbine. As the city progressed in planning the
wind energy redevelopment, a name was given to the site, Steel

Teaming up with BQ Energy and UPC Wind, Lackawanna was
able to develop a strategy for the property that would power 9,000
homes a year. The developers chose the Liberty 2.5-megawatt wind
turbines manufactured by Clipper Wind. In 2006, the turbines were
some of the largest and most efficient on the market while also being easy to repair. Additionally, the turbines were
domestically produced in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and are the largest manufactured in the United States. The City of Lackawanna
also chose two local construction firms to supply the labor for the project, putting 40 people to work at the site.

By June 2007, all eight turbines at Steel Winds were open for operation. The power generated at Steel Winds is sold as renewable
energy certificates to Constellation NewEnergy, who then sell to homes and businesses. Currently, the wind mills employ about five
people and in lieu of property taxes, BQ Energy will pay the City of Lackawanna $100,000 a year for the next 15 years. Future plans
for the property include the construction of 10 additional turbines, bringing the site's total capacity to 45 megawatts.
    Steel Winds is one of the first urban wind farms in
    the country.
    Wind turbines were domestically manufactured in Cedar
    Rapids, IA.
    Wind turbines will generate over 50 million kilowatt-hours
    of electricity each year, enough electricity to power 9,000
    Steel Winds has received statewide recognition for the
    project and serves as a model project for other 'Rust Belt'
    communities, and the renewable energy generation
    potential of contaminated sites.
                                                      CONTACT: City of Lackawanna Office of Economic Development, (716) 827-6421

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