Montana Wind Harness Project On Track

Ameresco Inc., the 99 percent owner of Montana Wind Harness (MWH), has announced that MWH has signed long-term leases for its major wind sites in Montana.

FRAMINGHAM, Massachusetts – May 22, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] This is one of several projects successfully completed by MWH toward their goal of developing 150 MW of wind power in the state. “With these signed leases in hand,” said Doug Barba, Executive Vice President of Ameresco, “we are on schedule to begin construction of this US$150 million project later this fall.” “We started out looking at 13 major sites in Montana,” said Barba, “As we gathered wind data, those 13 sites were narrowed to locations in Cascade, Glacier, Golden Valley, Judith Basin, Stillwater and Wheatland counties. We now have signed long-term leases for our key sites. Each of these sites has commercial wind resource potential.” The Montana Wind Harness project employs state-of-the-art European wind turbine technology that is far different from the turbines Montanans have previously seen. Previous generations of wind turbines were relatively small and difficult to maintain. The large, up to 1.5 MW turbines, that Montana Wind Harness will install have been proven in installations across Europe. Each turbine will generate enough electrical power for more than 1300 homes. “Each of our sites will have 35 to 40 of these turbines,” Barba said. “We ultimately will develop three sites from those that are under consideration.” Montana’s wind has been harnessed by each generation of Montanans. For over 100 years, Montanans have used wind to pump water for livestock. In more recent years, wind turbines near Livingston have been used to generate electricity on a limited scale. “Our current project is much different,” said Barba. “Montana Wind Harness will erect up to 115 turbines, and generate over 100 times the power of the Livingston turbines. We view this as only the start for wind power in Montana. The owners of Montana Wind Harness hope to develop future projects in the state after we have put these turbines successfully on-line.”

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