U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar joined federal, state and local officials, energy industry leaders, ranchers, and school children to celebrate Arizona’s first commercial-scale wind power project at the dedication of the Dry Lake Wind Power Project.
Located in Navajo County, the Dry Lake Wind Power Project sits on a combination of private, state, and federal lands. Approximately a third of the project is on the private Rocking Chair Ranch, with a third each on Arizona State Land Department and Bureau of Land Management public lands.
“The successful completion of this vital project reflects the concerns we all share – nationally, regionally and locally – about the critical energy challenges facing communities across the United States,” said U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
“The partnership that built Arizona’s first commercial-scale wind energy project demonstrates a common desire to reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil by using our domestic renewable resources to meet a larger share of our energy needs,” Salazar said.
“This strategy will also help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change, while creating ‘green jobs’ around the nation.”
The project brings a new source of clean, renewable energy to the region while supporting the local economy through property tax payments to Navajo County and job creation. During the peak of Dry Lake’s construction, 200 direct construction jobs were created as well as hundreds of indirect jobs through the supply chain and construction support.
“This project is another example of the incredible potential that clean, renewable energy has for Arizona and our country,” said U.S. Representative Ann Kirkpatrick, who serves Navajo County. “The Dry Lake Wind Farm will deliver jobs, help us diversify our energy sources and lower our utility bills. In these tough times, it is a shot in the arm for District One.”
Dry Lake generates enough power for more than 15,000 homes which will be delivered to customers of the Salt River Project.
"The message this plant sends to Arizonans is as important as the power it generates,” said SRP General Manager Richard Silverman. “Today isn’t only about a power plant, it’s about a more sustainable future for our customers and all of Arizona."
Composed of 30 Suzlon S88-2.1 megawatt (MW) turbines, the Dry Lake Wind Power Project generates 63 MW of clean energy.
“We are proud to be part of Arizona’s first commercial-scale wind farm, and of our role in creating jobs in the region. The Dry Lake project underscores our commitment to the region,” said Tulsi Tanti, chairman and managing director for Suzlon Energy. “The U.S. is among the world’s leaders in renewable energy, and we look forward to bringing more clean energy and clean-energy jobs to Arizona and the United States.”
The Dry Lake Wind Power Project was developed and is operated by Iberdrola Renewables, the largest provider of wind power in the world.