Blowing down a wind farm

Montana State Roundup

Published November 1, 2007  | November 2007 issue

A proposed giant wind farm north of Glasgow has been dramatically scaled back, ironically because of opposition from environmentalists. GreenHunter Energy Inc. of Texas had originally planned a 500-megawatt project covering about 20,000 acres. Local officials in sparsely populated Valley County supported the $500 million project, believing that it would generate jobs, taxes and consumer spending.

But the Wilderness Society and other environmental groups objected to the farm's proximity to a large tract of native prairie. GreenHunter considered scrapping the wind farm, but opted to revamp it as a much smaller, 50-megawatt facility to be built on 5,000 acres of state and private lands.

The company has reportedly shelved plans for three other wind projects in the state because of a shortage of transmission capacity needed to carry the power to urban markets.

Phil Davies