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Final turbine installed at Grady wind farm

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — With the last of 12 massive turbines installed, construction at a 19.8-megawatt wind energy project south of Grady will shift to finishing the substation and detail work, according to project officials.

“We just installed the final turbine. There are a lot of details we need to work out before we begin operations,” BayWa CEO Florian Zerhusen said last week in a phone interview. Zerhusen said there is no tentative date to begin operation, only that it would be operational in 2014.

The Brahms project is the start of what eastern New Mexico officials hope is a wind energy boom in the near future. Other projects being developed are Tres Amigas and a wind farm in Roosevelt County.

The Brahms Wind Project will feature a dozen 1.65-megawatt wind turbines that top out at more than 250 feet, and a power substation along Curry Road 34, near Curry Road Q.

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The project was announced in July 2012, and ground was broken Sept. 28.

“The substation is up, but we are still working on some electrical stuff, and we’ve got to go through and double check some stuff, which may take a few weeks to a month,” Site Manager David Boyd said of construction.

Grady Mayor Wesley Shafer is pleased thus far with the project.

“They got it all up and they’re getting ready to open. It will bring a little bit of money in for Grady and our school district,” said Shafer.

According to Elmer White, one of the landowners the project is being built on, the village of Grady and Grady Municipal School District will each receive about $20,000 annually.

“There are no businesses in Grady town limits, so they are really starving for revenue,” White said. “These payments will definitely help Grady.”

White’s property will hold four of the dozen wind turbines.

Energy generated at the Brahms project will be sold to Western Farmers Electric Cooperative in Oklahoma, according to Zerhusen.

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