May 22, 2014
First Wind, an independent U.S.-based renewable energy company, announced that 17 students from high schools across the country will be awarded scholarships through the company's signature First Wind Scholars program. The 2014 recipients were selected from a large pool of applicants and represented project host communities in Hawai'i, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Utah, Vermont and Washington. First Wind is marking the fifth year of its successful community program and will commit a total of $68,000 in scholarship dollars this year alone.
The First Wind Scholars program offers one-time, $3,000 college scholarships to high school seniors in communities where the company has a project in operation, construction or in an advanced stage of development. Students must display strong potential for a successful post-secondary experience, as well as interest in pursuing studies focused on the environment, energy or the sciences. One $5,000 scholarship, renewable for four years, is awarded to a stand-out applicant from the competitive pool. This year's recipient of the cumulative $20,000 scholarship is Kasen Hutchings from Beaver, Utah near the Milford Wind I and II projects. Kasen plans to attend Southern Utah University in the fall.
'All of us at First Wind are very proud to recognize these students. We look forward to seeing the future innovation and advancements made by this year's scholarship recipients in the fields of energy, science and technology,' said Carol Grant, Senior Vice President of External Affairs for First Wind. 'As we continue to foster and develop a more sustainable future, we are happy to give back to the host communities where we have developed renewable energy projects. We are pleased that the First Wind Scholars program has been so successful during its first five years.'
A complete list of this year's scholarship recipients is included below broken out by state where First Wind is currently operating or developing a renewable energy project.
First Wind owns and operates four projects in Hawai'i, the combined 51 MW Kaheawa Wind I & II project on Maui, the 30 MW Kahuku Wind project on Oahu, and the 69 MW Kawailoa Wind project on Oahu. The company is also developing a 20 MW (AC) solar photovoltaic energy facility near Mililani, Oahu.
This year's recipients from Hawai'i include the following four students:
- Adora Anae of Laie attended Kahuku High School and will pursue a degree in Nursing at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. She lives near the Kahuku Wind project.
- William Blaser of Waialua, a student at Waialua High School, has been accepted to the University of Hawai'i at Manoa where he will study Mechanical Engineering. He resides near the Kawailoa Wind project.
- Ryan Foree of Pukalani, a student of Kamehameha Schools, Maui, will attend the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and will major in Biology. He lives near the Kaheawa I & II Wind projects.
- Kirsten Gilchrist, a graduate of Lahainaluna High School, has been accepted to the University of Washington in Seattle where she will study Chemistry. She resides near the Kaheawa I & II Wind projects.
First Wind owns and operates five projects in Maine: the 60 MW Rollins Wind project, situated in the towns of Lincoln, Burlington, Lee and Winn; the combined 83 MW Stetson Wind I & II projects, both near Danforth; the 42 MW Mars Hill Wind project in Mars Hill, and the 34 MW Bull Hill Wind project in Hancock County. The company also recently began construction on the 148 MW Oakfield Wind project in Aroostook County. As part of the 2014 program, First Wind awarded scholarships to five Maine high school seniors:
- Brayden Beardsley of Surry, a graduate of Ellsworth High School, will attend Trinity College in Hartford, CT as a Mechanical Engineering major. Brayden lives near the Bull Hill Wind project.
- Mataya Hartin of Crystal, who is a graduate of the Southern Aroostook Community School, will attend the University of Maine where she will major in Nursing. She lives near the Oakfield Wind project that is currently in construction.
- Courtney Jurson, a resident of Hodgdon and student at Hodgdon High School, will attend the University of Maine as a Communication Sciences major. She lives near the Oakfield Wind project.
- Trysten Pelkey of Lincoln, who attended Mattanawcook Academy, has enrolled at the University of Maine and plans to study Computer Engineering. Trysten lives near the Rollins Wind project.
- Hunter Turner of Easton, a graduate of Easton Jr./Sr. High School, will study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maine. Hunter resides near the Mars Hill Wind project.
One student from Massachusetts, which is the location of First Wind's corporate headquarters and also home to its first solar projects in Millbury and Warren, has been selected to receive a First Wind Scholars award. Ramon Recio, a Boston resident and graduate of the Boston Green Academy, will enroll in the Pre-Dentistry program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
First Wind owns and operates the 125 MW Cohocton Wind project in Cohocton and the cumulative 35 MW Steel Winds I and II projects in Lackawanna and Hamburg, built on the site of a former brownfield. In 2014, the following two New York students will receive scholarships:
- Andrew Laffrado of Lackawanna, who attended Lackawanna High School, plans to study Engineering at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. He lives near the Steel Winds I and II projects.
- Madelyn Schwartz of Cohocton, a Wayland Cohocton High School graduate, will attend SUNY College at Geneso where she will begin to study Biochemistry and Engineering in the fall. Madelyn lives near the Cohocton Wind project.
The 306 MW Milford Wind I and II projects in Beaver and Millard counties is Utah's largest utility-scale operating wind farm. Two high school seniors from the state will receive scholarship awards this year:
- Kasen Hutchings from Beaver and a graduate of Beaver High School will receive the First Wind Scholars renewable $5,000 award to pursue a degree in Biology from Southern Utah University.
- Chandler Rose of Milford, who attended Milford High School, plans to pursue a science and technology degree at Northwest College in Powell, WY.
- Michael Stephenson, a resident of Delta and graduate of Delta High School, will enroll at Brigham Young University to pursue a degree in physics.
One student from Vermont, the home of the 40 MW Sheffield Wind in the Northeast Kingdom, has also received a First Wind Scholars award. Saint Johnsbury resident Andrew Biggie, a graduate of Saint Johnsbury Academy, is planning to attend Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
First Wind operates the 105 MW Palouse Wind project located in Whitman County, which began operations in late 2012. This year, Carmen Swannack of Lamont was chosen to receive a First Wind Scholars award. Carmen is a student of Saint John/ Endicott High School, and will study Agricultural Biotechnology at Washington State University in Pullman.
The First Wind Scholars program was started in 2009 as a way to support college-bound high school seniors in the communities where the company has projects in operation or in an advanced stage of development. Celebrating its fifth year, the awards support exceptional high school students who plan to pursue studies on the environment, energy or the sciences. The program has grown each year and scholarships have been awarded to 77 students totaling more than $300,000.
About First Wind
First Wind is an independent renewable energy company exclusively focused on the development, financing, construction, ownership and operation of utility-scale renewable energy projects in the United States. Based in Boston, First Wind is operating or building renewable energy projects in the Northeast, the West and Hawai'i, with combined capacity of nearly 1,300 megawatts (MW) - enough to power more than 375,000 homes each year. For more information on First Wind, please visit www.firstwind.com or follow us on Twitter @FirstWind.
For more information:
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Contact person: John Lamontagne
First Wind, Director, Communications