The New England Wind Forum was launched in 2005 to provide a single comprehensive source of up-to-date, Web-based information on a broad array of wind-energy-related issues pertaining to New England. It is funded by the Wind Powering America Program, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative's Renewable Energy Trust, and the Maine State Energy Program. Co-funding has been requested from each of the New England states.
New England is Proud to be the Birthplace of the U.S. Wind Power Industry
New England is the birthplace of the U.S. Wind Industry and home to a number of industry "firsts." New England has relied on the wind from its early days, from powering seafaring commerce to grinding grain in the windmills of Cape Cod — several of which still stand as a testament to the past.
Old windmill, Eastham, Cape Cod, MA.
- The first large-scale electricity-producing windmill, the biggest in the world at the time, was installed in 1941 at Grandpa's Knob, VT.
- The world's first wind "farm", consisting of 20 wind turbines, was built in 1980 at Crotched Mountain, NH.
- During the 1980s, moderate development occurred in places as varied as Equinox Mountain, VT; Nantucket, MA; Princeton, MA; and Tug Mountain, NH.
- As the industry entered the era of the modern wind turbine, with production costs approaching the cost of electricity from fossil fuels, the Searsburg, VT, wind farm was commissioned in 1997, and most recently, the Hull #1 turbine, MA, was commissioned in 2001.
Vestas wind turbine at Hull Municipal Lighting Plant, Hull, MA.
Since 2000, generation of electricity from the wind has boomed, making wind the fastest growing energy source throughout the country and worldwide. New England boasts the highest recorded wind speed in the mainland United States at Mount Washington, NH, as well as many other locations with attractive wind resources. Yet so far, development in New England has not kept up. But there is a new wave of interest and activity: development of traditional wind farms and community-scale development are underway throughout the region, in addition to efforts to tap the world-class winds off our shores.