Boston-based First Wind begins construction of its 105-MW Palouse Wind project in Whitman County, Washington, will sell output to Avista under PPA when project comes online in spring 2012

BOSTON , October 20, 2011 (press release) – Initial construction phase has started and will serve as an economic boost to the region

First Wind, an independent U.S.-based wind energy company, today began the initial stages of construction for its Palouse Wind project. After nearly four years of preparation and permitting, the project, situated between the town of Oakesdale and State Route 195, is underway.

With a generating capacity of about 105 MW of electricity, all of the energy from Palouse Wind will power local homes and businesses through a power purchase agreement with Avista. It will be the first renewable energy project in Whitman County.

“We are excited to finally begin construction on Palouse Wind,” said Ben Fairbanks, Western Regional Business Development Manager for First Wind. “One of our main goals has always been to build a project that makes the community feel proud and brings economic benefits to the region.”

This fall, some of the work expected to be done will include civil construction for turbine sites, the substation pad, laydown areas and road construction. Construction through the winter will depend on weather and site conditions, with turbine erection expected in the spring of 2012. At the peak of construction next spring, the project will employ about 200 workers.

“Construction projects this large are rare for Whitman County,” said Oakesdale Mayor Dennis Palmer. “Local businesses are already starting to see the economic benefit from the infrastructure work that is going into the Palouse Wind project. When construction really gets underway next Spring, businesses throughout the region should start to see a dramatic increase in activity. A real opportunity exists for someone to provide lodging and food for all these construction workers around Oakesdale.”

About First Wind
First Wind is an independent wind energy company exclusively focused on the development, financing, construction, ownership and operation of utility-scale wind projects in the United States. Based in Boston, First Wind has wind projects in the Northeast, the West and in Hawaii, with the capacity to generate up to 695 megawatts of power and projects under construction with the capacity to generate up to an additional 181 megawatts. For more information on First Wind, please visit www.firstwind.com or follow us on Twitter @FirstWind.

About RMT, Inc.
RMT is an industry-leading EPC firm specializing in the design and construction of clean energy facilities. Construction crews are backed by in-house engineering and site development professionals. This integrated network allows RMT to self-perform siting, permitting, engineering, and construction services on utility-scale wind and solar energy projects. Corporate headquarters for RMT are located in Madison, WI. For more information on RMT projects, please visit www.rmtinc.com.

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