Puget Sound Energy announced Wednesday it's beginning construction of its 343-megawatt Lower Snake River Wind Project in Garfield County, Wash.
The project will consist of 149 jumbo 2.3-megawatt wind turbines that will come from wind turbine manufacturer Siemens. When fully operational, they're expected to supply enough energy for 100,000 homes annually.
The project is not a one-site wind farm but--similar to the $1 billion wind energy complex in Texas--will be a connected system of turbines across various private lands.
About 40,000 acres of farmland will be utilized with farmers receiving energy royalty payments, as well as lease fees for the use of their land. Once the installation of the turbines is complete, 98 percent of the farmland on which the turbines sit will be able to be farmed as normal, according to PSE.
The Puget Sound deal confirms a trend. Partnerships between the wind energy industry and farmers are gaining traction across the U.S. With land lease rights for state and federal lands often hard to secure, wind energy developers have been looking elsewhere and have found the agricultural industry it would seem. States appear willing to foster the partnership as a way to attract wind turbine manufacturers and developers, while aiding their fledgling farming industries.… Read more