PSE To Start Building on 343-MW Wind Project

Washington’s renewable-energy industry received a significant boost this week when Puget Sound Energy announced the start of construction on Phase I of the Lower Snake River Wind Project in Garfield County.

The 343-megawatt (MW) Phase I project in Garfield County will significantly increase PSE’s total wind-power generating capacity. The utility has finalized negotiations with Siemens Energy for 149 wind turbines, rated at 2.3 MW each, for Phase I. With a generating capacity of 343 MW, the wind energy facility is expected to provide clean power for more than 100,000 homes.

Construction of Phase I will create up to 150 temporary jobs, with the eventual commercial operations creating as many as 25 permanent jobs.

“Puget Sound Energy’s Lower Snake River Wind Project will bring more jobs and more renewable energy to Washington,” said Gov. Christine Gregoire. “Projects like this support our state agenda for a greener future with more green jobs.”

PSE said that it is building Phase I of the Lower Snake River Wind Project now, in part, to meet the utility’s longer-term state renewable energy requirements under Initiative 937, but also to protect against energy-market price volatility and the “carbon costs” government is likely to impose on utilities to address climate change.

PSE is finalizing development of additional phases of the Lower Snake River Wind Project, including neighboring Columbia County, where the utility currently owns and operates the 87-turbine, 157-MW Hopkins Ridge Wind Facility near the city of Dayton.

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