John Deere Renewables, a national leader in wind energy development, has announced the groundbreaking of a new wind farm development project in Idaho. Located in Twin Falls County, the Tuana Springs Wind Farm will consist of eight 2.1MW turbines and have the capacity to produce enough electricity to power more than 5,000 Idaho homes. Christi Ritchie, from Hagerman, Idaho, is the developer on the project. Idaho Power Company is purchasing energy from the project under a long-term power purchase agreement. Groundbreaking began in fall 2009, and commercial operation of the wind farm may occur as early as spring 2010.
John Deere Renewables funded the Tuana Springs Wind Farm and will also serve as owner and operator of the project, which is the company’s fifth mid-sized wind farm development in Idaho. Other projects include the Cassia Wind Farm, Cassia Gulch Wind Farm, Bennett Creek Wind Farm, and Hot Springs Wind Farm. “John Deere Renewables is committed to sustainable rural development and concentrating its efforts on developing mid-sized wind projects like the Tuana Springs Wind Farm,” says David Drescher, vice president of John Deere Wind Energy. “Community collaboration is an important part of our development process, as this project may have huge impact on the local economy, from jobs to tourism to tax dollars.”
The Tuana Springs project creates new economic opportunities in Idaho. “From our Project 60 economic growth initiative to creating the Office of Energy Resources, making Idaho more energy independent by realizing the potential of alternative and renewable energy production in Idaho has been a cornerstone of my administration’s efforts,” according to Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter. “The John Deere name brings with it a lot of public recognition and trust. I’m happy to have this exciting new business venture here in Idaho.”
“I’m pleased to see John Deere Renewables expanding their footprint in Idaho,” says Don Dietrich, director of the Idaho Department of Commerce. “We are pleased that John Deere recognizes Idaho’s opportunities in the renewable energy arena. We’re happy they’re here.”
John Deere Renewables offers a variety of flexible ownership structures, including equity participation or ultimate ownership opportunities for the energy customer. The company uses a combination of capabilities and experience to structure projects, which can utilize government programs. For more information please visit www.johndeere.com/windenergy.