In many communities across the Alleghenies, coal was once king. But, in recent years, the area has seen the rapid expansion of a different kind of energy: wind.
Now, according to a new study, Pennsylvania ranks among the top 20 when it comes to the wind
Recently, North Allegheny Wind officials said they plan to build a new administrative office building in Gallitzin Township, Cambria County. Energy officials said that building -- coupled with wind
When it comes to people employed by the wind industry, the Gamesa Plant in Ebensburg alone employs about 250. While some of those positions had to be saved this year with federal stimulus money, the American Wind Industry called that an investment.
On the state level, energy officials said they have good reason to grow in Pennsylvania.
"I talk every day to companies who want to match-make and move their headquarters to the U.S., and Pennsylvania is one of the main places they look because of the policies you put in place in state government there that encourage them to come there first," said Denise Bode, chief executive officer of the American Wind Energy
They said the jobs are here to stay, not just building but also maintaining those turbines. But, some local residents have asked whether the region is really benefiting from wind energy.
Bode said, "Your power right now is being interchanged between all the states. This puts free energy on the grid with avoiding the cost of fossil fuels."