Utah Wind Farm Extension to Bring more Green Jobs, Boost Local Economy

As part of the launch of the Milford II Wind Farm project, local and community leaders joined First Wind at the project site in Utah to recognize the economic and environmental benefits of the project, along with the significance of recent project milestones that include a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) and construction financing, both of which were critical in spurring the current construction activity.

The construction will be a source of revenue and new jobs to the surrounding area. For example, the 204 MW Milford I project, which went online in November 2009, supported more than 300 development and construction jobs, and First Wind directly spent about $30 million with Utah-based businesses developing and building the first phase of the project and another $50 million in statewide spending on items such as wages, taxes and more.

“We are very pleased to accelerate our construction activities for the second phase of the Milford Wind project,” said David Hastings, Vice President of Western Development for First Wind. “The expansion and continued success of Milford Wind is a testament to the project and the commitment of our stakeholders, the State of Utah, our host counties of Beaver and Millard, our PPA partners – SCPPA, LADWP and Glendale, our landowner group including the federal Bureau of Land Management, our contractor and subcontractors, and of course our lenders.”

RMT, which led the construction for the Milford I project and is currently building First Wind’s Kahuku project in Oahu, Hawaii and the Sheffield Wind project in Vermont, is again leading construction activities for the Milford II project.

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with First Wind to expand the Milford Wind project,” said Frank Greb, Vice President and General Manager for RMT. “As with the first phase of the project, RMT will hire local workers and subcontractors whenever possible to ensure that the construction of this expansion maximizes the economic benefits for the surrounding community and Utah.”

Completed on October 18, 2010, the long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) to supply the cities of Los Angeles and Glendale with renewable energy represented a significant milestone for the Milford II project. Once completed, the second phase of the Milford Wind project will add to the already significant renewable energy that is being produced and delivered to Los Angeles, Burbank and Pasadena through the first phase of the project. The 102 MW expansion will utilize the 88-mile generator lead that was built from the Milford Wind project to the Intermountain Power Plant in Delta, which then connects the site to the electrical grid.

“This PPA for Milford II is significant as it builds on the successful long-term PPA we signed in 2007 for Milford I, which at its time was a landmark for a publicly owned utility,” said Bill D. Carnahan, Executive Director of the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA). “As with the Milford I PPA, SCPPA will contract with First Wind for the long-term agreement, prepay for the energy, and sign power sales agreements with the participants to sell them the output of the project to repay SCPPA’s costs including the ongoing operating expenses.”

When completed, the combined phases of the Milford Wind project will have the capacity to generate enough to power the equivalent of more than 65,000 homes annually. With an aggregate of 306 MW of clean, wind energy between the two projects, the power produced by Milford Wind will be the equivalent of decreasing carbon dioxide emissions by over 310,000 tons annually, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (U.S. EPA) Emissions and Generation Resource Integrated Database (E-GRID).

Read the full press release at First Wind. November 17, 2010

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