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Washington State Utility Enters Montana Wind Farm Contract

Wind turbines on top of a hill.
Jackie Yamanaka
Yellowstone Public Radio

Puget Sound Energy on Wednesday announced its contract to buy 350 megawatts of electricity from developer NextEra Energy Resources to serve Washington State customers.

NextEra says it plans to build the Clearwater wind farm about 60 miles north of Colstrip.

NextEra spokesperson Bryan Garner says Puget contracted for about half of the total 750 megawatts of electricity the wind farm will produce when it comes online.

“So, there’s significant capacity remaining that could be marketed to other customers as well,” Garner says.

Puget Sound is a part-owner of both the Colstrip coal-fired power plant and the Colstrip electric transmission system. Puget Vice President of Energy Supply Ron Roberts says Colstrip Units 1 and 2 closed last year.

“That made that transmission capacity available, which ties in very nicely with the Montana wind project,” Roberts says.

NextEra says construction on the Clearwater wind farm is expected to create up to 350 temporary jobs. It says the operation of the wind farm will require about 20 full-time jobs when it comes online in 2022.

Kayla writes about energy policy, the oil and gas industry and new electricity developments.