By Cameron Chai
First Wind, which deals with wind energy projects, commemorated the commencement of a major construction phase of its first wind project in Washington State, Palouse Wind located in the northern Whitman County. Business, community heads, First Wind, industry executives as well as local officials participated in the celebratory kick-off event.
The 105 MW wind project will provide clean energy to 30000 houses, which is equivalent to the entire energy load of Whitman County and will offer considerable income and long-term tax revenues to the local people.
The project will have 58 Vestas V100-1.8 MW turbines installed between the town of Oakesdale and the State Route 195. The sophisticated turbines will be supplied next month.
The Palouse Wind project will be the largest renewable energy project in the count after completion. The project construction will be completed by November and will start operations by the year end.
During May, 2011, a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) was obtained by First Wind for the project. In June 2011, Avista, an energy provider, declared that it will buy the electricity produced from the project. In October 2011, the preliminary building work commenced. Subsequently, First Wind received construction financing worth $210 million.
The produced electricity will be transmitted through Avista 230 kV Benewah-to-Shawnee transmission line. The objective of Avista to satisfy the Washington State’s renewable portfolio standard will be achieved through this project.
Several subcontractors and businesses based in Pacific Northwest are hired for the project by the common contractor, RMT. In addition, the project will create 150 jobs and nearly $30 million will be spent by the local traders in the Inland Northwest and Whitman County.