Puget Sound Energy (PSE), a Washington-based energy utility, has plans to start the construction on the Phase I of the Lower Snake River Wind Project in Garfield County, Washington.

According to the company, the 343MW Phase I project will increase its total wind-power generating capacity. It has finalized negotiations with Siemens Energy for 149 wind turbines, rated at 2.3MW each, for Phase I. The wind energy facility is expected to provide clean power for more than 100,000 homes.

Construction of Phase I will create up to 150 temporary jobs, with the eventual commercial operations creating as many as 25 permanent jobs, the company said.

PSE is building Phase I of the Lower Snake River Wind Project now, in part, to meet the utility’s longer-term state renewable energy requirements under Initiative 937, and also to protect against energy-market price volatility and the ‘carbon costs’ government is likely to impose on utilities to address climate change.

Phase I will be built near Pomeroy, Washington, on nearly 40,000 acres of leased farmland. More than 98% of the land will remain available for crops once the wind facility enters operation, with farmers receiving lease and royalty payments for participating in the project.

PSE has also tapped Renewable Energy Systems Americas (RES Americas) for the construction of the project infrastructure. RES Americas has either developed or constructed more than 10% of the installed wind capacity in the US including existing facilities in southeast Washington.

PSE is finalizing the development of additional phases of the Lower Snake River Wind Project, including neighboring Columbia county, where the utility currently owns and operates the 87-turbine, 157MW Hopkins Ridge Wind Facility near the city of Dayton.

Kimberly Harris, executive vice president and chief resource officer of PSE, said: “We’re excited about constructing Phase I of the Lower Snake River Wind Project, our third major wind facility. This project builds on our success with Hopkins Ridge and Wild Horse, which are already generating 430MW of clean, renewable power.”