PSE Acquires Development Rights to Lower Snake River Wind Energy Project

Puget Sound Energy has purchased full ownership rights to develop the Lower Snake River Wind Energy Project. The project, one of the largest wind energy efforts in the U.S., was launched as a joint development partnership between PSE and RES Americas Inc. in December 2008 and is now solely owned by PSE.

PSE will oversee all development, design and construction of the wind facility, as well as its operations when in service. RES Americas will remain part of the utility’s team, with responsibility as the project’s prime construction contractor. The utility expects initial construction on support infrastructure to begin in 2010, and the first phases to enter commercial energy production in 2011.

A conditional use permit (CUP) application for the project was filed in January 2009 in Garfield County, with a CUP expected to be filed in Columbia County later in 2009. According to the January 2009 CUP application, the Lower Snake River Wind Energy Project will have the capacity to produce as much as 1,432 megawatts (MW) from up to 795 wind turbines when completed.

A draft environmental impact study associated with the permit application for the project is now available for public comment with the planning agencies in Garfield and Columbia counties.

“Wind power works in Southeast Washington, and PSE is focused on bringing this new source of clean, renewable energy and economic opportunity to full operation in Columbia and Garfield counties,” said Paul Wiegand, vice president of power generation at PSE. “The local community support and the progress we’ve made so far in developing the Lower Snake River project gives us great confidence for the next phases of permitting, construction and operation.”

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