Wind Power Projects

NaturEner Glacier Wind Project

Glacier Wind Project Boasts 140 Turbines

By: Tim Franklin, KFBB New Channel 5
June 3, 2009

Located between Shelby and Cut Bank, south of Ethridge, a crew of 125 works to bring clean, green energy to the region, in the form of 140 wind turbines.

"With wind you do not depend on fuel," said NaturEner Project Manager Klaus Obel. "The wind is there anyway. The cons are that we can't determine when the wind will blow."

According to Obel, the project is going as planned. NaturEner completes about one turbine every two weeks. These 2000-horse power turbines each produce enough energy to power 500 homes per year. Each has a tower standing 262 feet, and weighs nearly half a million pounds.

"When you see it from the road, you know it's big, but it's nothing like being next to it," Obel said. "The blades are 118 feet long."

NaturEner says the wind farm's maximum output will be 210-megawatts, which is enough power for 60,000 homes. This project will boost property tax revenues in Glacier and Toole counties by an estimated $4 million annually.

"It helps in many ways. The tax base will go up and then the employees will be here to maintain them."

This is the 2nd commercial-sized wind project in Montana. Next up, the proposed Rim Rock project, also in Glacier and Toole Counties, which will be the largest wind farm in Montana and all of the Northwest.

The turbines each have a lifespan of up to 30 years. Once the project is completed in the Fall, year-round maintenance will begin by a crew of about 18.

Reprinted with permission.

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