First Windfarm on Native Lands is Proposed in United States

The first windfarm to be installed on tribal land could be sited soon in Montana.

BABB, Montana, US, 2001-05-08 <> Bonneville Power Administration will prepare an environmental impact statement for the proposed site on Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Glacier County. If approved, the facility will include between 36 and 88 turbines on 150 acres, and could be commissioned by late next year. The output of 36 to 66 MW would meet the demand of 22,000 homes. BPA will accept public comments on the EIS until May 25. “We are excited about the potential for wind resources,” says acting administrator Steve Wright. “Wind is becoming increasingly attractive economically, and it can be brought online with relatively short lead times. In the current energy crisis, we need low-cost resources that can produce electricity quickly.” Two public meetings are scheduled, one at the Bureau of Indian Affairs office in Browning and the other in Babb. BPA will accept oral and written comments on the proposed scope of the EIS from affected landowners, concerned citizens, special interest groups, local governments and other interested parties. “This facility could be a model for other tribes,” adds BPA project manager Tom Osborn. “It shows how a tribe can work with an experienced wind developer to build a wind project on its land and provide substantial economic benefits to the community.” Blackfeet I, LLC will construct and operate the facility, if approved.

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