Ground will be broken this month for the long awaited $60 million Wyoming wind project at Foote Creek Rim. The first phase of the project, owned primarily by PacifiCorp and developed by SeaWest Energy, is to consist of 69, 600 kW Mitsubishi turbines totalling 41.4 MW. The "Wyoming Wind Energy Project," first proposed five years ago, was originally to be developed by Kenetech Windpower. But it was shelved when the wind company sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. SeaWest then bought the rights. The Eugene Water and Electric Board of Oregon is also a partner and Bonneville Power Administration has agreed to buy some of the power from the project, to be operational by the end of 1998. The final hurdle was crossed when the US Bureau of Land Management gave the go-ahead for the project, which is on private and state land, on July 17. Extensive wildlife monitoring will be done and the power lines will be under ground to interfere less with local birds and animals. PacifiCorp's Erin MacLellan says that "green power" may become a choice for the utility's two million customers by the end of this year.
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