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First Wind Begins Construction on Milford Wind Corridor Project

First Wind, an independent wind power company, today announced that it has begun construction of its Milford Wind Corridor Project. To inaugurate the project, First Wind hosted a groundbreaking ceremony today attended by officials with the Department of Interior, the federal Bureau of Land Management, state and local officials, as well as officials with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Southern California Public Power Authority at the project site in Milford, Utah.

"The Milford Wind Corridor Project is the largest project that First Wind has undertaken and the largest to be built in the state of Utah to date," said Paul Gaynor, CEO and President of First Wind.

The Milford Wind Corridor Project will generate up to 203 MW of clean energy upon its completion, making it one of the largest renewable energy facilities in Utah and the largest wind energy farm in the state. It will feature 97 total wind turbines. Construction of this project is expected to be completed by the end of 2009.

"We appreciate the support of the US Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management, the state of Utah, Secretary Olsen, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the Southern California Public Power Authority, and residents of Millard and Beaver Counties, many of whom have joined us for the ceremony today," Gaynor added. "First Wind is proud of its track record of developing projects, bringing local jobs and working with the communities. Here in Milford, we look forward to a continued community partnership as this project comes to fruition and brings a host of economic and environmental benefits to the region."

Last month, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) completed a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental assessment for the facility and issued the finding with the decision to approve the project. The Milford Wind Corridor is the first wind energy facility permitted under the BLM's Wind Energy Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Western US states.

"This event is not only important to First Wind, the developer of this project, but it is also important to the Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Land Management, the local community and to our nation's energy security," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior Michael Olsen. "The Department of the Interior has been and continues to support renewable energy as part of a balanced energy portfolio of environmentally responsible domestic energy development that is increasingly providing the country with greatly needed resources."

"BLM Utah is playing an important role in developing renewable energy resources," said Todd Christensen, Utah Bureau of Land Management District Manager for the Color Country District. "Diversifying our nation's energy portfolio leads to our goal of becoming energy independent."

In December 2007, First Wind completed a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA), on behalf of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and the cities of Burbank and Pasadena to supply the City of Los Angeles with clean, renewable energy from the Milford Wind Corridor project. The agreement was approved by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the L.A. City Council.

"It is always satisfying to help our members realize significant milestones, like the Milford Wind Corridor Project, on their way to reaching their renewable resource goals," said Bill D. Carnahan, Executive Director of the Southern California Public Power Authority. "This project is extremely beneficial to both Utah and California in meeting air quality and energy needs of the future."

The Milford Wind Corridor Project will provide economic benefits to Millard and Beaver Counties by contributing significant property tax revenues and bringing new jobs to the area.

"We're delighted to welcome First Wind to town," said Milford Mayor Bryan Sherwood. "This project will provide jobs and local revenues. We're looking forward to working with them."

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