Ground was broken earlier this month on Nevada‘s first utility wind farm. The turbines will be implemented by Pattern Energy Group and is one of seven projects that Pattern hopes to construct over the next 12 months.
Pattern has entered a 20 year power purchase agreement with NV Energy to provide enough energy for approximately 45,000 local homes. The farm, located 30 miles east of Ely, NV, will produce 150 MW of energy and create 225 jobs over the course of the year-long construction and 13 permanent jobs after the turbines are up and running. The wind farm will contain 66 Siemens 2.3 MW wind turbines and use a pre-existing transmission line for electrical distribution.
Pattern is also working closely with animal rights activists and groups to make sure that the turbines do not harm any migrating birds or bats. They have installed an advanced radar system to track bird and bat movement that will allow workers to immediately shut off the turbines when specific species are found in the area. They are also working closely with local tribes to ensure the preservation of cultural resources.
While these windfarms will certainly help reduce carbon emissions, they will also create an estimated $20 million in revenue for White Pine County and the state of Nevada’s Renewable Energy Fund over the next 20 years.