Garfield County wind project on line

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POMEROY -- Puget Sound Energy's Lower Snake River Wind Facility, Phase I, began commercial operations Feb. 29.

The 149 turbines are in Garfield County from the west and southern boundaries with Columbia County to the ridge north of New York Gulf above the Snake River. The eastern boundary is State Route 127 and U.S. Highway 12 east of Dodge Junction.

The 343-megawatt project is PSE's third wind form in Washington, which also includes the 157-megawatt Hopkins Ridge Wind Facility in Columbia County and the 273-megawat Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility in Kittitas County.

The Lower Snake River project will generate enough electricity, on average, to power about 100,000 homes, according to a press release from the utility company.

Construction began on the first phase of what is planned to be a five-phase project, in May 2010. Lead contract is Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc.

Travelers along U.S. Highway 12 became familiar with the gigantic components of the turbines as they were transported by truck to the construction site during several months in 2011.

Cost of the facility is $830 million, including development, construction and transmission-network upgrades for connection to the regional power grid.

A celebration is tentatively planned for the end of May or early June, according to PSE spokesman Roger Thompson.

Photos, short videos and other information about the Lower Snake River project can be viewed at www.pse.com.

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