The 20-year power purchase agreement from PacificCorp began on March 4. As a result, it will expire on March 4, 2036.
While each of the turbines have been operational for several weeks, many of the turbines seem to sit idle through much of the day. An sPower official explains that some of the idle time is due to the fact that biologists are in the process of documenting the flight of birds in the area.
They will use the information to develop an avian management plan for the wind farm. Observation towers are being built for the bird watchers and daylight observations will take place for at least the next two years.
The turbines are controlled at the General Electric Renewable Energy Global Headquarters in Schenectady, NY. If birds are observed in the area, the turbine can be shut down in an effort to protect the birds.
sPower officials said the turbines are generally in full operation during the nighttime hours. During a recent overnight shift, it was reported that the wind farm generated nearly 530,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, or roughly enough to power more than 50 households for an entire year.
The turbines are moved entirely by wind power. No electricity from the grid is used to turn the turbines.