Montana has a new wind power facility. Pattern Energy Group 2 LP (Pattern Development) announced it has completed construction and begun operations at its 79.75-MW Stillwater Wind facility located in Stillwater County, Montana.
“Our first wind power facility in Montana is now generating numerous benefits for the state, including strong jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue, while producing enough clean energy to power 23,000 homes each year without any emissions,” said Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Development. “We’re working on our second wind project in Montana and we look forward to creating more jobs and economic benefits from the state’s vast natural wind resources.”
Stillwater Wind has a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement for 100% of the energy produced. The facility interconnects to the local transmission provider’s 230-kV transmission line via a newly constructed 230-kV switching station.
Stillwater Wind is utilizing a total of 31 Siemens Gamesa wind turbines composed of five 2.3 MW turbines with 108-meter rotors and 26 2.625 MW turbines with 120-meter rotors. During each year of operation, the 79.75 MW facility will generate energy equal to the needs of more than 23,000 Montana homes.
“Wind turbine technician is one of the fastest growing jobs in America today. Wind farms like Stillwater Wind are a source for long-term, stable jobs, tied to their 25 to 35-year life,” said Jeff Fox, Montana policy manager at Renewable Northwest. “Pattern Development is helping to create these good paying, long-term jobs in Montana’s rural communities.”
The project construction created approximately 80 jobs within the in regional community and will employ approximately six full-time personnel during operations. The two contractors responsible for construction of the Stillwater Wind project, Dick Anderson Construction and EPC Services Company, are both headquartered in Montana.
“Both Stillwater and Sweet Grass Counties are thankful to have Pattern Development doing business in our communities,” said Stillwater county commissioner Mark Crago. “It is clear that the team at Pattern Development strives to be involved locally and truly cares about the community. When our local school was forced to close, they stepped up and donated $100,000 to Reed Point Schools, demonstrating their commitment to our community.”
Over the first 25 years of the facility’s operational life it is expected to produce more than $18 million in tax revenue. The local county will also receive impact fee payments over the first three years, in addition to royalty payments to participating landowners.
Affiliate company Pattern Energy Group has previously added Stillwater Wind to its list of identified Right of First Offer (iROFO) projects.
“Montana has one of the strongest wind resources in the U.S. and arguably the greatest opportunity for wind development among any state in the West,” said governor Steve Bullock. “I’m pleased to see Pattern Development harnessing the power of Montana wind, particularly as we look to determine Montana’s own energy future through the development of further clean energy projects, good-paying jobs, and revenue that supports our rural communities.”
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