GE Invests in Utility-Scale Idaho Wind Farms
11 Wind Farms to Bring Green Jobs & Renewable Energy to Idaho-
In an effort to expand its renewable energy investment portfolio, GE Energy Financial Services has announced its newest equity plunge in the largest wind power project in Idaho valued at nearly $500 million. Aptly titled Idaho Wind Partners project, the venture is anticipated to create roughly 175 construction jobs as well as permanent employment for operations and ongoing seasonal maintenance needs. Moreover, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a wind project of this proportion would generally support the equivalent of over 2,200 full-time jobs in the U.S. for one year and create 25 permanent jobs. The GE unit will own a majority equity interest in the Idaho Wind Partners project. A minority interest in this project will be owned by the Exergy Development Group along with manager and operator Reunion Power. The nearly half billion dollar portfolio of 11 wind farms under construction was developed by Exergy Development Group. The wind farms will sell all of their power to Idaho Power Company under 20 year power purchase agreements. Once completed, the portfolio is expected to qualify for the Federal Treasury Grant program designed to stimulate renewable energy projects. “Through our investment in Idaho’s largest wind power portfolio, GE Energy Financial Services is putting millions of dollars to work to bring jobs and clean energy to Idaho and help the country meet growing demand for domestic, renewable sources of energy,” said Kevin Walsh, managing director and head of Power and Renewable Energy at GE Energy Financial Services. Utilizing 122 of GE’s 1.5-megawatt turbines, these wind farms will hold 183 megawatts of generating capacity – enough to power around 39,700 average Idaho homes. Not to mention, the project will avoid roughly 331,000 short tons a year in greenhouse gas emissions (the equivalent of taking about 57,000 cars off the road) – based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calculations.