Montana’s second-largest planned solar project, the 150-MW Cabin Creek solar farm, currently being developed by Clenera in Fallon County, is now the largest in the state to move forward with development, after signing a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Basin Electric Power Cooperative.
The PPA is for 15 years, with a reported cost of power under $30/MWh for Basin Electric. Basin Electric is comprised of 141 smaller electric cooperatives, spread across nine states, for a total electric customer base of around 3 million. More than half of Montana’s 25 in-state electric cooperatives belong to Basin Electric and will receive power from it.
Over the 15-year lifespan of the contract, the Cabin Creek solar farm is expected to generate enough electricity to power 30,000 homes. Outside of the power contract, the project is expected to generate $8 million in property taxes to Fallon County, plus an additional $5 million to the state. The project will create about 300 jobs when construction begins in 2022 or early 2023, after which another five will be created for maintaining the project. The project is expected to come on-line by the end of 2023.