Judith Highlands Energy Begins Development of Montana's First, Utility-Scale, Community-Owned Wind Project
National Wind, LLC along with Billings-based Montana Wind Resources, LLC announces today the formation of Judith Highlands Energy. Judith Highlands Energy is a 500+ MW community-owned wind power project; it is the first and potentially the largest in the state of Montana.
Billings, MT- November 30th, 2009-National Wind, working with area ranchers and Billings-based, Montana Wind Resources, LLC, announces today the formation of Judith Highlands Energy, LLC. Judith Highlands Energy plans to develop over 500 megawatts (MW) of community-owned wind projects in the central-Montana counties of Judith Basin, Wheatland, Golden Valley, and Fergus. This project is potentially the largest development of its kind in Montana.
Currently, the project incorporates over 50,000 acres, nearly 100% of the land needed to develop the wind farm's first phase. Montana Wind Resource's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Rhyno Stinchfield and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Steve Tyrrel, along with National Wind's development team, will jointly manage the wind farm.
"The local support for Judith Highlands Energy is substantial, in part due to the numerous positive relationships Steve has formed with large landowners throughout the Northern Rockies," says Patrick Pelstring, Co-Chair of National Wind, LLC. "That, combined with Rhyno's 30 years of sustainable energy experience, makes for a strong team. Also, area ranchers are realizing that National Wind's established business model is distinctly different than "traditional", corporate wind farm developments. Our National Wind model seeks to allow local community participation, which provides potential for sharing in both turbine leases and revenues from a successful project."
Judith Highlands Energy is expected to be developed in multiple 100+ megawatt phases over the next 5 to 8 years. A local board of advisors, consisting of participating community members, is in the process of formation. Regular meetings between National Wind, Montana Wind Resources and the board of advisors will be held to ensure the project is meeting the community's needs.
"Not only will this project help Western States reach their Renewable Portfolio Standards, it also has the likelihood of providing substantial economic benefits to Montana," says Stinchfield. "Steve and I have enjoyed working with Montana ranchers and landowners over the past several years. However, nothing we've seen yet has possessed the economic potential of Judith Highlands. We need more developments like this across the state because community-owned wind projects can add significantly to the local economy."
A 2009 Harvard study suggests that Montana is second only to Texas with the country's greatest wind potential. The Department of Energy's Wind Powering America Program has reported that 1,000 MW of installed wind capacity in Montana could add $1.2 billion in cumulative economic benefits, reduce C02 emissions by 2.9 million tons, and save over 1,200 million gallons of water annually.
Judith Highlands Energy's development team has executed two leases for on-site meteorological equipment (met tower) installation. The met towers are scheduled to be installed within the next 30 days. One year of on-site wind analysis is needed to effectively determine the best spots for wind turbine placement.
To learn more about Montana's first, utility-scale, community-owned wind farm development, visit www.judithhighlandsenergy.com. The project's current headquarters are located at 3128 Farnam Street, Billings, Montana. Plans are in the works to move the office to a new location in Billings within the next 50 days.
About Judith Highlands Energy, LLC:
Judith Highlands Wind, LLC is a community-based wind development company located in Judith Basin, Wheatland, Golden Valley and Fergus Counties in Montana. Our company's objective is to develop 500+ MW's or more of wind turbine-based renewable energy. Our development commitment is to produce wind energy projects that are sustainable, generational and environmentally responsible. Our financial commitment is to assure that the financial benefits are shared with our local stockholders, area land owners and the surrounding community. Visit our website at www.judithhighlandsenergy.com .
About National Wind, LLC:
National Wind is the leader in developing utility-scale (50 megawatts or larger) community wind energy projects. We form powerful community wind energy partnerships with property owners, assuring that the project's economic benefits are shared with the surrounding community. National Wind and its subsidiary, Wind Energy Developers, LLC, have participated in developing 12 wind energy projects and currently have over 3,500 megawatts in active development. National Wind projects are located in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Montana and Ohio. The company has an additional 1,500 megawatts of wind energy in advanced feasibility study stages and is continually exploring expansion opportunities in other states. Please visit www.nationalwind.com for more information.
About Montana Wind Resources, LLC:
Montana Wind Resources, LLC is a wind development company based in Billings, Montana that works with ranchers, farmers, businesses and institutions throughout the state to facilitate their use of this renewable resource. Montana Wind Resources also has relationships with manufacturers, contractors and suppliers to assure the best possible outcome for a successful wind project. Steve Tyrrel, Chief Operation Officer (COO), has over 12 years of experience in range management services throughout the Northern Rockies. Rhyno Stinchfield , Chief Executive Officer (CEO), has 30 years of experience working in sustainable energy throughout North America. Visit www.montanawindresources.com for more information.