From Tom Osborn, BPA
Copyright © 2001 BPA
BABB, Montana - A vision is taking shape for what could be the first wind farm on tribal land. A 36- to 66-megawatt wind power generation facility is proposed for the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Glacier County, Mont. If built, it could generate enough power for up to 22,000 homes.
The Bonneville Power Administration will prepare an environmental impact statement for the proposed site and will accept public comments through May 25. If approved, the facility will operate between 36 and 88 wind turbines on about 150 acres and could come on line in late 2002.
"We are excited about the potential for wind resources", said BPA Acting Administrator Steve Wright. "Wind is becoming increasingly attractive economically, and it can be brought online with relatively short lead times. In the current energy crisis, we need low-cost resources that can produce electricity quickly."
"This facility could be a model for other tribes", said Tom Osborn, BPA's project manager. "It shows how a tribe can work with an experienced wind developer to build a wind project on its land and provide substantial economic benefits to the community."
Two public meetings about the project will be held May 10. One meeting will be at the Bureau of Indian Affairs main conference room in Browning, Mont., from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The other will be at the Cattle Baron Restaurant on U.S. 89 in Babb, Mont., from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Blackfeet I, LLC, which will construct and operate the facility, will provide written information and maps of the proposed project. BPA will accept oral and written comments on the proposed scope of the EIS.
Affected landowners, concerned citizens, special interest groups, local governments and any other interested parties are invited to comment. If unable to make the meetings, people can call BPA's toll-free comment line, 800-622-4519.
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Contact: Tom Osborn, BPA