Category: Wind News

WINData LLC

WINData, LLC is a veteran engineering company providing professional project and site development services to the wind industry. WINData’s wind project work comprises over 15 GW of wind farms and conceptual developments ranging from pre-developed to late stage developed sites across the western US.

WINData’s pioneering work in the 1990’s and early 2000’s contributed significantly to the wind energy projects on the Blackfeet reservation, Cut Bank/Ethridge and Judith Gap in Montana; the Columbia River Gorge in Washington and Oregon and in Casper Wyoming

WINData offers a full range of wind energy consulting services for resource selection, siting and analysis of site potential. Our wind energy consultants have been in the siting business since 1991 and have been involved in every aspect of the business from initial land owner relations to negotiations with power off-takers.

WINData offers the following comprehensive professional services to clients on an “out-sourced” basis:

Utility and energy business technical team leadership

Identification and origination of wind development opportunities

Project scoping, development strategy and bid formulation

Technical team assembly, leadership and management

Wind resource assessment and meteorological science

Wind project micro-siting, project design and output modeling

Conducting meetings with land owners, communities, Utilities, stakeholders, governmental agencies and tribes

Contract and agreement formulation, negotiation and execution

Technical writing and presentations

via WINData LLC.

Wind farm breaks ground: Completion of $19M project near Choteau expected in June of 2014 | Great Falls Tribune | greatfallstribune.com

Groundbreaking has begun on a new wind farm that will soon rise above the wheat fields of Teton County.

When completed, the $19 million Fairfield Wind project will include six utility scale turbines standing 398-feet tall, with a combined total of 10 mega watts of generating capacity.

“It has broken ground, and we expect to complete commissioning by June of 2014,” said John Pimental, president of Foundation Windpower, a wind energy engineering and development company based in the San Francisco Bay area.

The Fairfield Wind project is jointly owned by Foundation Windpower and WINData, a wind energy consulting and project management firm located in Great Falls. The general construction contractor for the project is Dick Anderson Construction, also of Great Falls.

During construction, the project is expected to employ 50 to 60 workers. Foundation Windpower has already inked a power purchase agreement with NorthWestern Energy, which will begin accepting electricity from the turbines in 2014.

Fairfield Wind may have the distinction of being one of the last wind energy projects initiated in Montana under the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) program. Enacted in 1992, the PTC program encourages investment in renewable energy by lowering an energy development company’s overall tax liability.

As currently structured, the PTC offers 2.3 cents in tax offsets per kilowatt of electricity generated to owners of new wind energy facilities. Credits are offered for the first 10 years that a wind energy facility is in operation. Proponents of the program argue that investment in renewable energy would be negligible without these types of government incentives.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, wind energy now constitutes 3.91 percent of total energy generation in the United States, up from 0.27 percent 10 years earlier.

Critics of the PTC argue the federal government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers in the energy industry, and that wind energy is less economical than other sources of electricity.

The PTC was scheduled to expire at the end of 2012, but Congress extended the tax credits for another year as part of the fiscal cliff legislation.

The program is expected to hand out $12.1 billion in tax credits to the wind industry over the next 10 years.

Foundation Windpower and WINData will be able to take advantage of PTC because construction on the project began prior to the Dec. 31 program deadline.

“The rules require construction to start in 2013, but the project can be completed in 2014 and perhaps later,” Pimental said. “We organized the construction schedule to allow us to start this year.”

Pimental said selection of the wind farm site on the Bole Bench, east of Freezeout Lake between Fairfield and Choteau, was based upon several factors including the wind resource, proximity to existing transmission lines and the ability to minimize the biological and habitat impacts.

“Every wind project looks at those three factors,” he said.

Teton County Commissioner Joe Dellwo said the county wholeheartedly endorses the Fairfield Wind project. On Oct. 3, commissioners granted three county road encroachment permits to allow the general construction contractor to improve road access to the development site.

“It’s a no-brainer for us because it’s going to increase the tax base,” Dellwo said. “They’re moving dirt as we speak. I think their plan is to begin pouring cement in November. They’re going to be well underway by next month.”

According to Pimental, similar wind power production products could become a rarity if Congress declines to extend the PTC beyond the 2013 deadline.

“We certainly think it would be wise public policy to extend those tax credits,” Pimental said. “They are an important consideration for developers who put time, money and risk into trying to develop these projects. Without those supporting subsidies, renewable energy project development would come to a grinding halt in America.”

via Wind farm breaks ground: Completion of $19M project near Choteau expected in June of 2014 | Great Falls Tribune | greatfallstribune.com.

Wind farm breaks ground: Completion of $19M project near Choteau expected in June of 2014 | Great Falls Tribune | greatfallstribune.com

Wind farm breaks ground: Completion of $19M project near Choteau expected in June of 2014 | Great Falls Tribune | greatfallstribune.com.

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