(KCPW News) Construction is beginning on a 17,600-acre wind farm in southeast Idaho that will bring wind power to seventeen Utah cities and two Utah utilities for the first time. The Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, or UAMPS, is building the Horse Butte Wind Project. Spokeswoman Lisa Davis says while most of the wind power generated in Utah is sold out-of-state, this project will serve Utah customers.
“I think it’s also really great to see all these smaller cities throughout the state make a commitment to having wind and a renewable resource as part of their mix,” Davis says.
The cities include some along the Wasatch Front, such as Kaysville, Brigham City and Lehi. They also include rural cities like Beaver and Blanding, and the growing St. George region.
Bonnie Christiansen with Utah Clean Energy says the project is a great opportunity for the participating municipalities and utilities to get cost-effective renewable energy. And she says it’s what UAMPS customers want, according to a recent poll.
“Out of the customers polled, over 80 percent of UAMPS members actually supported renewable energy as being a part of their mix,” Christiansen says. “And so I think that is fairly significant that this is a way that they can look at what their customers’ needs and wants are and this is a way they can supply those.”
The majority of the power generated by the Horse Butte Wind Project’s 36 turbines will be purchased by Utah customers. The rest will be sold to utilities in Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming and California. UAMPS is a coalition of municipalities and utilities throughout the west that collaborate to build power projects.