OAKLAND, MD - Students from Garrett County's Kitzmiller Elementary School recently got a first-hand look at how renewable energy is working in Maryland.
Approximately 40 kindergarten through third grade students and their teachers from Kitzmiller were the first-ever local school students to tour Constellation Energy's Criterion Wind Project in Oakland. The first wind energy project to operate in the state of Maryland, Criterion Wind produces 70 megawatts of emission-free electricity. The wind project is helping the State of Maryland meet its clean energy goals of producing 20 percent of its electricity with renewable resources by 2022.
The recent visit by Kitzmiller students was coordinated by second and third grade teacher Bridgete Corbin who said she requested the tour as part of a unit she's teaching on green energy. "We're exposing students to the idea of renewable energy, and we have this great example of how it works right here in our county," she said. "The students were really excited to see the wind turbines and to talk about how they make clean energy."
The Kitzmiller students toured two of the 28 Criterion wind turbines, which stand 415-feet tall with the blades turned up. The two towers the students toured were located on the property of Oakland resident Janet Tichnell. "People are really interested in seeing the windmills," Tichnell said. "I was more than happy to help coordinate the tour with the schools. It was a good learning experience for the children."
The Criterion Wind Project is built over an eight-mile stretch along Garrett County's Backbone Mountain east of the county seat of Oakland. The project began producing commercial power in late December 2010.