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Wind farms bought, built in central Montana

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 3:13pm
The Associated Press

A wind energy company headquartered in China said Thursday it has bought a 20-megawatt wind farm planned for central Montana, and meanwhile, a nearby 10-megawatt project has started operations.

The 20-megawatt wind farm is planned near Shawmut, a small community about 75 miles northwest of Billings along the Musselshell River.

It will be built by Goldwind USA, whose Chinese parent company, Goldwind, bills itself as one of the largest wind turbine manufacturers in the world.

The project's prior owners, Volkswind, already had construction permits for the project and a deal to sell the power that will be generated to NorthWestern Energy.

Goldwind says it hopes to complete construction on the project and begin generating power at the Shawmut site by the end of the year.

U.S. Sen. Max Baucus said in a statement that he met with executives from the company during a 2010 trip to Beijing and urged them to do business in the state.

Meanwhile, the 10-megawatt Gordon Butte wind farm near Martinsdale recently completed construction and became fully operational earlier this month, Gov. Brian Schweitzer said Thursday. The project was developed by Bozeman-based Oversight Resources.

The state now has 395 megawatts of wind energy generating capacity, Schweitzer said.

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