Wind Energy Development Picks Up In MT


Grasslands Renewable Energy has been identified by Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) to be included in further discussion regarding the evaluation of its Wind Spirit Transmission Project under the newly created Transmission Infrastructure Program from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) which granted WAPA borrowing authority of $3.25 billion to develop transmission systems for renewable energy in the United States.

“This is great news for our state,” said Governor Brian Schweitzer. “Montana can and will lead the nation in wind energy development but we need new and expanded transmission systems. The agreement with Grasslands and Western is an important step in the right direction to build needed new transmission and illustrates a clear dedication of the federal government to develop American energy resources.”

Grasslands and WAPA signed a Memorandum of Understanding on May 26th to continue discussions on integrating renewable energy resources in Montana and surrounding states to the regional transmission grid.  Grasslands’ Wind Spirit Project is one of over 100 submitted projects under WAPA’s request for interest from March 2009.  

The Wind Spirit Project proposes a series of integrated, interconnected high voltage transmission lines from Montana to other markets. These lines will enable the development and export of a minimum of 3000 MW, or about 23 new wind farms the size of Judith Gap, Montana’s first industrial wind farm.

The Wind Spirit Project offers an innovative solution to renewable energy development by aggregating wind from geographically dispersed areas, firming the energy with one or more energy storage applications, and marketing the energy through a single entity. Grasslands is developing three separate 230 kv AC lines that will connect Montana with markets in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Wyoming.

Grasslands and WAPA will work to evaluate and define the project including estimation of benefits, operational matters, cost-sharing mechanisms, timelines, participant responsibilities, and other parameters consistent with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. 


Source: Office of Gov. Schweitzer

Posted by Kaci Switzer

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