Pattern Energy Group 2 LP (Pattern Development) has completed construction and begun operations of its 79.75 MW Stillwater Wind facility in Stillwater County, Mont.
Stillwater Wind has a 25-year power purchase agreement for 100% of the energy produced. The facility interconnects to the local transmission provider’s 230 kV transmission line via a newly constructed 230 kV switching station.
“Montana has one of the strongest wind resources in the U.S. and arguably the greatest opportunity for wind development among any state in the West,” says Montana Gov. Steve Bullock. “I’m pleased to see Pattern Development harnessing the power of Montana wind, particularly as we look to determine Montana’s own energy future through the development of further clean energy projects, good-paying jobs and revenue that supports our rural communities.”
The project is using 31 Siemens Gamesa wind turbines: five 2.3 MW turbines with 108-meter rotors and 26 2.625 MW turbines with 120-meter rotors. Construction of the wind farm created approximately 80 jobs within the local and regional communities and will employ approximately six full-time personnel during operations. The two construction contractors responsible for construction of the Stillwater Wind project, Dick Anderson Construction and EPC Services Co., are both headquartered in Montana.
“Our first wind power facility in Montana is now generating numerous benefits for the state, including strong jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue, while producing enough clean energy to power 23,000 homes each year without any emissions,” says Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Development. “We’re working on our second wind project in Montana, and we look forward to creating more jobs and economic benefits from the state’s vast natural wind resources.”
Over the first 25 years of the facility’s operational life, it is expected to produce more than $18 million in tax revenue. The local county will also receive impact fees over the first three years, in addition to royalty payments for participating landowners.
“Wind turbine technician is one of the fastest-growing jobs in America today. Wind farms like Stillwater Wind are a source for long-term, stable jobs, tied to their 25- to 35-year life,” notes Jeff Fox, montana policy manager at Renewable Northwest. “Pattern Development is helping to create these good-paying, long-term jobs in Montana’s rural communities.”