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GE Invests in Utility-Scale Idaho Wind Farms

2 July 2010 10,129 views 3 Comments

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.

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  • Hub said:

    More windmills less habitats for native wildlife. Green energy has a nice ring to it, but wind farms sure are effecting Columbian Sharptail grouse habitats above Idaho Falls, which are by the way already being considered to be listed as a endangered species. Over near Twin Falls there is another push to put a wind farm (Browns Bench) which has some of the last remaining habitat for Sage Grouse which are also being considered to be listed as a endangered species. Mule deer are also effected in a negative way by wind farms. BP is polluting our Gulf of Mexico, now they are in Idaho destroying our natural resources to line their pockets. These people do not care about our state of Idaho and our wildlife and other natural resources that make this a great state. Any Idaho state politician who welcomes them into Idaho is not a friend of Idaho. Once the wind farms are in were stuck with them. Every effort must be made to stop these wind farms from being built in Idaho or you might as well kiss many of our Idaho resources good-bye. Idahos wildlife and other natural resources are not unlimited. For those who love our state of Idaho and our natural resources, remember, when it comes to any kind of additional development like wind farms, more is less. Do not let what is precious here in Idaho be gone with the wind, our children need to know that we care, and hopefully, they will too.

  • Desiree said:

    Dear Hub,

    any effort must be done to consult with the local stakeholders and find agreeable solutions.
    Stopping wind developments won’t serve the climatic sustainability that is necessary to protect most endangered species on the planet.

    kind regards

  • todd thorn said:

    Response to Hub is that I too am sensitive to habitat deterioration. It is without a doubt the single leading cause of species decline and extinction. However, you never gave a alternative view as to how the energy can be produced. Opposing an idea is their right if a person feels strongly about it, but providing a viable solution is the responsibility that must also be fulfilled. So what is your ideas?

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