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State approves wind turbines by Martinsdale

The state has approved the construction of up to 15 wind turbines on 3,080 acres of school-trust land as part of a 300-megawatt wind farm five miles northeast of Martinsdale. ...The 58-megawatt first phase will cost an estimated $200 million, and include the seven to 15 turbines on state land plus additional turbines on adjacent private land.

The state has approved the construction of up to 15 wind turbines on 3,080 acres of school-trust land as part of a 300-megawatt wind farm five miles northeast of Martinsdale.

"We're anxious to get it built and up and running," said project manager Joy Potter, who is based in a Horizon Wind Energy field office in Washington. Texas-based Horizon is the developer for the wind farm.

The 58-megawatt first phase will cost an estimated $200 million, and include the seven to 15 turbines on state land plus additional turbines on adjacent private land.

Work is scheduled to begin in 2010, Potter said.

Approximately 15,558 acres of private land, owned by the Martinsdale Hutterite Colony, make up the bulk of the wind farm.

Depending on how many of the 15 turbines are installed, the state could receive between $36,750 and $78,750 in annual payments - 3 percent of the estimated gross revenue, said Clive Rooney, area manager of the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation's northeastern land office in Lewistown.

Revenue generated from school-trust land is earmarked for public schools.

Secondary benefits of the project include an increase in the property tax base for Wheatland and... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The state has approved the construction of up to 15 wind turbines on 3,080 acres of school-trust land as part of a 300-megawatt wind farm five miles northeast of Martinsdale.

"We're anxious to get it built and up and running," said project manager Joy Potter, who is based in a Horizon Wind Energy field office in Washington. Texas-based Horizon is the developer for the wind farm.

The 58-megawatt first phase will cost an estimated $200 million, and include the seven to 15 turbines on state land plus additional turbines on adjacent private land.

Work is scheduled to begin in 2010, Potter said.

Approximately 15,558 acres of private land, owned by the Martinsdale Hutterite Colony, make up the bulk of the wind farm.

Depending on how many of the 15 turbines are installed, the state could receive between $36,750 and $78,750 in annual payments - 3 percent of the estimated gross revenue, said Clive Rooney, area manager of the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation's northeastern land office in Lewistown.

Revenue generated from school-trust land is earmarked for public schools.

Secondary benefits of the project include an increase in the property tax base for Wheatland and Meagher counties, Rooney said.

He said that each turbine would kill an estimated four birds and 13 bats a year. A technical advisory committee will be formed to monitor animal fatalities.

The wind farm also represents a visual change in the landscape, he said.

"We decided the impacts are acceptable for the benefits of the project," Rooney said.

The 58 megawatts planned in the first phase represent the capacity available on existing transmission lines, Potter said.

"We're kind of stymied for any future development until we get additional transmission," she said.

The wind towers will be 406 feet tall, including the blades, Rooney said.

The Martinsdale wind farm is the state's second involving school-trust land. Fifteen of the 90 turbines at the Judith Gap wind farm, which is located entirely in Wheatland County, are on state land.

The 210-megawatt Glacier Wind Farm, north of Great Falls near Shelby, is being constructed entirely on private land.


Source: http://www.greatfallstribun...

MAY 2 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/20081-state-approves-wind-turbines-by-martinsdale
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