PSE to purchase 350 MW of wind energy from planned NextEra Montana project

Published on June 07, 2021 by Chris Galford

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Although it has yet to be built, 350 MW of energy from NextEra Energy Resources, LLC’s Clearwater Wind Project in Montana has already been spoken for by Puget Sound Energy (PSE), in an agreement that will bring the utility’s wind portfolio to 1,500 MW total.

This new arrangement will last 20 years, with power drawn from a subsidiary of NextEra. Its Clearwater facility should come online around the end of 2022, with the capability to produce 750 MW upon completion. In all, that would be equivalent to power about 140,000 households per year, on average. The project will sprawl across an area approximately 60 miles north of Colstrip, Montana.

“We are excited to partner with NextEra Energy Resources, which will move us to toward achieving our goal of reducing our own carbon emissions to net zero by 2045,” Ron Roberts, PSE vice president of Energy Supply, said. “This is one of the steps we’re taking to meet our carbon commitment of Beyond Net Zero and increase our use of alternative fuels for power generation. We’ve been saying Montana has great wind resources, and this agreement demonstrates PSE’s continued investment in Montana’s energy economy.”

By the end of construction, Clearwater will span three counties: Rosebud, Garfield, and Custer. Originally acquired from Orion Wind Resources LLC, the project will also employ up to 20 full-time employees once operational. In addition to its clean energy benefits, it should also provide major economic benefits to the region, delivering more than $400 million in expected gains through jobs, tax revenue, and private land leases.