Silverthorn Renewables

Rosebud and Treasure counties, Montana

Silverthorn Wind will be located in Rosebud and Treasure counties, Montana. Developed jointly by Pattern Energy and Talen Energy, the wind project will provide economic benefits and jobs that will last generations.

Our approach to building successful facilities is to work closely with residents in a way that is respectful and fits the needs of the landowners and communities that host us. We seek to build partnerships and bring long-term benefits to where we operate. We prioritize relationship building and open communication and aim to address and incorporate feedback, and further local benefits.

Wind FAQ

How does this project benefit my community?

Wind projects represent millions of dollars of investment that provide widespread direct and indirect job creation and economic benefits, including: lease payments to participating landowners, annual revenue payments to local governments that benefit local schools and community services, local jobs both during construction and operations, increased earnings for local vendors and services, and community giving throughout the life of our projects. We strive to find ways to expand benefits for the landowners and communities where we operate. Acting as a good neighbor benefits both the communities where we develop and the long-term success of our facilities.

How will the project be developed? Will it affect farming and ranching?

Through careful site selection, project design, and use of best management practices during construction and operations, our wind projects are designed to minimize impacts to the natural environment, including wildlife and habitat. Most of the impacts during construction are temporary and will be restored upon completion of construction. Each wind turbine typically requires around one acre of land after construction, allowing landowners to continue farming and ranching around them. We will work with farmers and ranchers when siting wind turbines, access roads, and collection lines to minimize impact to crops, grazing, and other farming and ranching operations.

Are wind facilities safe?

Yes. For more than 40 years people have been living near more than 350,000 wind turbines operating globally and more than 50,000 wind turbines operating in North America. There is no scientific evidence that indicates wind turbines have caused any adverse health effects. Overall, health and medical agencies agree that the sound from wind turbines is not loud enough to cause hearing impairment and is not causally related to adverse effects. Scientific evidence to date indicates that at common residential setback distances there is no direct health risk from wind turbine noise, including low-frequency noise and infrasound. Further, wind turbines do not produce any greenhouse gas emissions, water discharges, or solid waste byproducts.

What is the construction process?

Construction of a wind energy facility typically takes one to two years to complete. During that time, the following activities can be expected: site preparation; building access roads and turbine foundations; delivery and assembly of turbine components; civil work such as grading, excavation and concrete, as well as electrical work and mechanical assembly; and site restoration at the completion of construction

How will the facility be maintained?

We will have a robust annual operations plan and budget to maintain the facility and the land. As a long-term owner and operator of the project, we have a significant interest to maintain the land and the turbines for maximum energy production.

What is the lifespan of a typical wind project?

Modern wind farms are projected to last 30 years, although this can be extended depending on environmental factors and improvements in technology. The project will have a decommissioning plan in place for the facility at the end of its useful life. Turbines and other project infrastructure will be removed, and the site will be restored to its natural state.

Solar FAQ

How does this project benefit my community?

Solar projects represent millions of dollars of investment that provide widespread direct and indirect job creation and economic benefits, including: lease payments to participating landowners, annual revenue payments to local governments that benefit local schools and community services, local jobs both during construction and operations, increased earnings for local vendors and services, and community giving throughout the life of our projects. We strive to find ways to expand benefits for the landowners and communities where we operate. Acting as a good neighbor benefits both the communities where we develop and the long-term success of our facilities.

How will the project be developed? Will it affect farming and ranching?

We are committed to thoughtfully developing facilities with careful consideration of the land and surrounding community, at every stage of the project, from initial siting through decommissioning. A critical step in all of our projects is soliciting feedback to help shape our plans. Through careful site selection, project design, and use of best management practices during construction and operations, our solar facilities are designed to minimize impacts to the natural environment, including wildlife, habitat, and important aquatic resources.

Most of the impacts during construction are temporary and will be restored upon completion of construction. We will work with farmers and ranchers to minimize impact on farming and ranching operations. We will utilize a common technology whereby steel posts are driven directly into the ground. The posts are pulled out at the end of the facility’s useful life, and the land is restored to its original condition.

The project will utilize a “light on land” approach during construction and operations and will encourage native grasses to grow within the project footprint after construction to provide erosion control and limit dirt and dust from settling on the solar panels.

Are solar facilities safe?

Yes. Solar facilities don’t produce any air emissions or harmful by-products. Additionally, Pattern Energy works exclusively with equipment manufacturers meeting strict Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) testing and regulations in place to ensure these facilities and materials used are not hazardous to people or the environment.

How visible will the project be to those nearby?

Although the project may be visible from nearby roads and possibly some residences, the overall visual impact is minimal and can be further minimized with fencing and screening. Solar panels typically have a maximum height of 10-15 feet when upright, include a non-reflecting coating, and will be located back and away from roads and most, if not all residences.

Are solar facilities noisy?

Solar projects are effectively silent. Tracking motors and inverters may produce an ambient hum that is not audible beyond the site boundaries.

What is the construction process?

Depending on factors such as seasonal conditions and final project size and design, construction of a solar facility takes, on average, one year to complete. During that time, the following activities can be expected:

  • Site preparation, vegetative clearing, and grading before infrastructure installation begins
  • Building access roads, stormwater management, and driving structural piles
  • Racking and panel delivery and mechanical assembly of solar facility infrastructure
  • Electrical work to run power from panels to inverters to substation
  • Installation of substation and transmission line, as required, for connection to the broader electric grid system
  • Site restoration after construction
How will the facility be maintained?

Once a solar facility is built, the land can be undisturbed for many years, often lending to increased local biodiversity. A long-term maintenance plan will be developed for the facility and the land, which involves keeping the vegetation tidy to keep it from interfering with or shading the panels.

What is the lifespan of a typical solar project?

Solar panels produced today will have a useful lifespan of 35 to 40 years. At the end of the project, the installation will be dismantled, removed and recycled. The facility will have a decommissioning plan in place that will include removal of all infrastructure and  land restoration.