Invenergy Wind North America LLC (Invenergy Wind), a wholly owned subsidiary of Invenergy LLC, will start its work on the $200 million to $300 million Vantage wind energy project from late March 2009 with fewer turbines than planned. A general contractor for the main work will be decided by the company in the next 30 days. The company plans to have the wind farm completed and operating by the end of 2009.

Earth-moving, heavy equipment operation, the supply of gravel, concrete and related concrete work will be carried out by the local contractors. Road building, trenching and excavation for turbine locations will start in March 2009.

The project was approved by the Kittitas county commissioners in May 2008 with 69 turbines.

“We’ve asked firms that are bidding on the project to go back and get more local contractors into their plans,” Mike Logsdon, director of development for Invenergy Wind, said. “We really want to stress getting local contractors involved; we want more of them.”

Logsdon said that the number of turbines has been narrowed to 60 turbines for a variety of reasons involving the “micro-siting” process.

Federal Aviation administration recently approved the specific locations for the 60 towers to be built in the wind farm.

“Our sites are pretty much fixed, at this point,” Logsdon said, except for a few minor changes.

Logsdon said that the the reduction in turbine numbers was not related to increasing turbine costs, but because of several factors including setting exact locations of each tower.

The turbines, blades and metal towers for the project have been arriving at different ports and are being stored at the port of Longview and near Olympia.

Logsdon said that having the equipment for the wind farm on hand before construction will help expedite the project and steer clear of any delays in their delivery from overseas.

Logsdon said that the buyer for power produced from wind farm is being looked for.

Logsdon also continued that the negotiations were under way with property owners in the east county area for a possible second Invenergy wind farm but declined to share details about the location of that project.

The Vantage project is about three miles southwest of the existing 127-turbine Wild Horse wind farm owned and operated by Puget Sound Energy, Inc.