Posted: Oct 18, 2012 7:24 PM by Victoria Fregoso - MTN News
Updated: Oct 19, 2012 10:49 AM
BILLINGS- Construction of a 20 megawatt wind farm is underway in Wheatland County, and the project will produce enough power over the next 25 years for more than 5,000 customers once it's completed.
"We expect the entire plant to be completed and energized and producing power to the grid by christmas," said Derek Brown, Mortenson Construction Project Executive.
Senator Max Baucus met with China-based wind energy company Goldwind two years ago.
The second largest manufacturers of wind turbines in the world, they saw Montana as the best location for their next wind farm.
"We met a group who had been developing this particular project for a couple of years and after talking with them, we decided to build this project and it's two ten megawatt projects for a total of 20 megawatts we're building," said Tim Rosenzweig, CEO of Goldwind USA.
"I think it's an ideal location," Senator Max Baucus said. "We've got some wind and it's been said before that we're turning something that's a bit of a scourge to something that's positive."
The wind farm has provided jobs since day one, said Brown with Mortenson construction. He said the transformers originated in Missouri and the Pacific Coast.
So far there are 1,500 wind farm jobs here in Montana, and Baucus sees this as a way of opening doors for more wind farms in the state.
"There's no question when somebody builds a project in our state, word spreads. Goldwind is going to be kind of like ambassadors that's going to spread some good will."