The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) has issued a final Record of Decision approving the proposed Clearwater Wind Energy Center Development.

“After careful review, we’ve determined this project provides reliable and substantial long-term revenue for our Trust beneficiaries,” said DNRC Director Amanda Kaster. “An important component of this project is that agricultural and grazing operations currently under lease will remain in place into the future.”

Located approximately 30 miles northwest of Miles City, Mont., the entire project will encompass approximately 150,363 acres in Custer, Garfield, and Rosebud counties, including 4,484 acres of State Trust Lands.

DNRC has proposed a 35-year lease with Clearwater Energy Resources, with two 10-year renewal options and an 18-month decommissioning term for the Trust Lands in the project area.

Under the agreement, Clearwater would install up to 11 wind turbine generators on Trust Lands, along with an estimated 6.9 miles of underground electrical collection systems and 7.6 miles of access roads. The Wind Energy Development Center as a whole would consist of up to 269 wind turbines with a generation capacity of approximately 750 megawatts.

Current uses of Trust Lands in the project area include six active grazing leases, two agricultural leases, three easements for overhead power lines, as well as public recreation.

A copy of the Record of Decision can be found on the DNRC Web site at https://tinyurl.com/33y4b68s.

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