LIND — Avista announced in a press release on Tuesday, March 19, that it will be purchasing power from a new wind farm to be built between Lind and Washtucna. The wind farm will be built by the Clearway Energy Group, headquartered in San Francisco, California.
The wind farm project will consist of 90 windmills. It will connect to the Avista power grid through a series of new power lines and a substation that has yet to be built.
Phase one will build approximately 60 towers and will increase local tax revenues by approximately $700,000 a year and $14 million over the life of the project. The first phase is expected to be up and running in 2020.
The announcement has caused great excitement for Adams County Commissioners and the Adams County Development Council.
“I can’t tell you how thrilled I am,” said John Marshall, chairman of the board for the Adams County Commissioners. “Last year, Avista completed the solar farm. To have them reinvest in Adams County, I am really, really pleased to have it happen so soon.”
The wind farm project has been 15 years in the making.
“Fifteen years ago, Adams County saw an opportunity that wind may come here,” said Stephen McFadden, Adams County Economic Development Director. “The county invested in towers to measure wind in the area of the towers. Nothing came of it. That original data contributed to the developer deciding to proceed with the project.”
“At the time, it hadn’t been economical to go ahead and invest and build that in Adams County,” said Marshall. “Now that customers want to have renewable energy, they have a desire to help the environment and to be more acceptable to their customers.”
The wind farm is expected to create eight to 12 full-time, permanent jobs and approximately 250 temporary construction jobs. Around 30 percent of the construction jobs are expected to be hired locally.
“We have the potential for new families to move into Adams County,” said McFadden. “Anytime we can create new jobs, get new kids in school or new people in grocery stores, it’s a win.”
Total construction time is expected to be 12 to 18 months and cost around $250 million. Clearway still has local regulatory permits and processes to get completed before construction begins.