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Bliss, Idaho Welcomes State's Largest Wind Power Project

Area Development Online News Desk (09/02/2010)
Bliss, Idaho, will soon be home to the state's largest wind power project. GE Energy Financial Services, Reunion Power, Exergy Development Group, and Atlantic Power Corp. are partnering on a 183-megawatt, 122-turbine project that will encompass 11 wind farms situated on 10,000 acres in Idaho's southern Magic Valley. Today the area is a renewable energy hub.

Dubbed Idaho Wind, the $500 million project will produce enough energy to power 39,700 homes, and prevent the emission of 331,000 short tons of greenhouse gases. Twenty-five permanent jobs will be created as a result of the endeavor.

Stakeholders and state agencies celebrated the project today, but there was concern for the future of wind development.

"While we are delighted to embark on this new renewable energy project in Idaho, we are concerned that such projects will become increasingly difficult without imminent passage of federal clean energy legislation," said GE Energy President and CEO Alex Urquhart. "A federal incentive backing this project, the Treasury Grant, is expiring at year's end. Extending that program and other federal incentives would provide the long-term certainty that investors and manufacturers such as GE need to ensure continued expansion of renewable energy throughout the country."

For now, Idaho Wind is under construction, with workers delivering turbine components and preparing infrastructure.

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