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Greensburg: Exceeding Expectations

Posted by Sandra Markowitz - Intern on Jul 01, 2013
Tags: greensburg wind farm, wind energy, corporate social responsibility

Six years after a catastrophic tornado leveled Greensburg, Kansas, the town now stands as a leader in sustainable redevelopment. Called “the greenest town in America,” Greensburg meets 100% of its energy needs from a portion of the 12.5MW Greensburg Wind Farm.

We at NativeEnergy purchased the remaining REC output, to sell to our customers. During 2012, the 8-turbine wind farm has exceeded expectations, providing over 115% forecasted performance for our customers, including Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Ben & Jerry’s, Stonyfield Farm, Clif Bar, Aveda, Reverb and Clean Air Cool Planet.

Before the tornado struck, the town was best known for having the world’s largest hand-dug well. Now, the well is just one of many attractions in the town. Greensburg Greentown, a nonprofit organization that was founded with the aim to help educate Greensburg citizens on sustainability principles, now offers free tours of the town. Stops on the tour include the Greensburg Wind Farm, the LEED certified Kiowa County Courthouse, and the LEED certified 5.4.7 Art Center. The town currently has the greatest number of LEED certified buildings per capita in the world.

Greensburg Greentown and the Greensburg community have since reached out to many other natural disaster stricken communities such as Joplin, Missouri, and West Liberty, Kentucky, helping (and inspiring) towns to rebuild greener.

Daniel Wallach, executive director and founder of Greensburg Greentown said of the wind farm, “It’s been transformational. A key, if not the key project in the town, for several reasons. It’s the first thing you see when you drive in to town. It’s literally powering the whole town, and it’s such a dramatic physical representation from the old way of thinking, to thinking sustainably.”

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