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Proposed Wind Farm Leases State Land In Eastern Montana

Jackie Yamanaka
Yellowstone Public Radio
Wind turbines similar to those planned for the Clearwater project

The state of Montana will lease several thousand acres of public land to a proposed wind farm in the southeast part of the state.

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation in mid-May issued a final record of decision for the wind farm just west of Miles City.

It allows parent company NextEra Natural Resources to build the Clearwater Wind Energy Center on nearly 4,500 acres of state trust lands as part of the wind farm to span Custer, Garfield and Rosebud counties.

The project is proposed to include up to 269 wind turbines, 11 of which will be on state trust land.

In a press release, DNRC says the entire 750-megawatt wind farm will span more than 150,000 acres. According to DNRC, it will be the largest wind farm in Montana.

Washington-state based electric utility Puget Sound Energy recently announced an agreement with the wind farm for about half of its generating capacity. The company has not announced who will buy the remaining power generation.

The wind farm is slated to begin construction this summer and be operational in 2022.

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