Today Governor Schweitzer announced that NaturEner USA, LLC has secured a $320 million construction loan and a tax equity investment of $285 million that will allow the company to commence construction on the 189 megawatt Rim Rock wind power project.
"This is big news for Montana and the Hi-Line with another $605 million of investment in wind energy development. It will create hundreds of good paying construction jobs and be a sustainable property tax base for local governments," said Governor Brian Schweitzer.
Governor Schweitzer hosted a meeting of NaturEner, Enbridge (the owner of the MATL transmission line), Western Area Power Administration (the federal financier of the MATL Line) and NaturEner's lenders on November 30th to insure the advancement of the necessary agreements to move the projects' development forward.
"Without the continued help and work of Governor Schweitzer this project would not have advanced. Specifically, we appreciate his bringing all the parties together in one place for a face-to-face meeting on November 30th to coordinate and secure the major investments needed to get to work. Governor Schweitzer's efforts throughout this process have been instrumental to our project's success," said Jose M Sanchez-Seara, CEO of NaturEner.
Rim Rock is a 189 MW wind farm project located in Glacier and Toole Counties, Montana consisting of 126 Acciona AW-77 1.5 MW turbines. The project area encompasses approximately 21,000 acres of private land. The project is expected to generate enough energy to power more than 60,000 homes and will offset more than 389,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year.
*** NaturEner Press Release attached, which has pertinent details***
Montana Wind Energy Facts:
* Montana had just 1 MW of wind power online in January 2005, and with the completion of the Rim Rock project, there will soon be 575 MW of wind power generated in the state.
* Montana is ranked #1 in wind potential for high quality winds of class 3 and above.
* Since 2005 including the Rim Rock project, $1.5 billion is being invested in Montana wind development.
* Montana has over 50 wind and transmission line projects in various stages of development across the state.