Little Equinox Mountain is the site of one of the first wind farms in the United States. In 1981, one wind turbine was installed followed by three more in 1982 . These turbines, an early-generation design by WTG Systems of Buffalo, NY, were mounted on 80-foot truss towers and had a nominal peak output of 350 kW. The turbines, however, were plagued with mechanical issues, and by the mid-1980s all four were out of service, standing idle on the mountain from 1985 through 1989.
At the urging of Endless Energy, Green Mountain Power began operating the site in 1988, erecting a wind measurement tower and removing the four old turbines. It installed two U.S. Windpower 100 kW turbines in 1989, which ran for fours years making electricity. Green Mountain Power removed its turbines and measurement tower in 1994. The company now owns the Searsburg Wind Farm in Searsburg, Vermont. GMP leased the mountain until 1997, and in 1998, Endless Energy began looking at the site to develop another wind farm.
Endless Energy is planning on installing 8 Vestas V90 wind turbines with a 3MW capacity each.The technology has come a long way since the early wind farms on Little Equinox. This chart shows the difference in the amount of capacity of the Manchester Community Wind Farm compared to the previous two.
1981 0.25 MW x 4 = 1.0 MW
1989 0.10 MW x 2 = 0.2 MW
2010? 3.0 MW x 8 = 24.0 MW
"Vermont Yankee: The Costs of Nuclear"
"Vermont receives $8.8 million in recovery funds for renewable energy projects"
"A Decade of Change: A vision for Vermont's Renewable Energy Future"
"On the Ground: Manchester, Vermont" from the Orton Family Foundation E-Journal