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Bozeman co. gets backing for wind project

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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- A Montana renewable energy company says it has backing from ten developers to pursue a sprawling wind power collection grid serving Montana, North Dakota and Alberta.

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The announcement from Grasslands Renewable Energy comes as the Bozeman company received preliminary federal approval Friday for a reservoir project near Martinsdale that would store excess wind power.

Grasslands president Carl Borgquist says wind-generated electricity would be used to pump water uphill to a 50-acre reservoir on Gordon Butte. When the wind stopped, the water could be released to a second, lower reservoir -- turning hydropower turbines to keep electricity flowing.

As planning for the reservoirs moves forward, Borgquist said financial commitments from ten prospective wind developers will cover feasibility study costs for the company's related Wind Spirit transmission project.

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