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Staff Report

A massive solar energy project planned for an area north of Baker has moved a step forward with the recent announcement that the company has lined up a customer.

Idaho-based Clenara Renewable Energy of Boise has announced that it has come to agreement in June with Basin Electric Power Cooperative to provide energy it generates at the proposed Cabin Creek site for a period of 15 years.

The proposed project being developed by Clenara is the state’s second-largest planned solar generating facility.

The power purchase agreement by Basin Electric, will mean more than 140 small electric cooperatives in nine states and many of Montana power cooperatives will be getting power from Fallon County.

The solar project, once completed, is predicted to be able to provide enough electrical energy to power about 30,000 homes.

According to the developer, the solar farm will add about $8 million property taxes to the county and $5 million to the state over its proposed 35-year life. It also may create about 300 jobs.

The solar project is slated to start construction in 2022 or early 2023, with it starting to provide electricity by the end of 2023.

The project will eventually have two separate 500-acre solar arrays. Clenara is also working to develop another solar energy project near Dillon.

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