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Lava Ridge Wind Project would offer hands-on experience to students in CSI’s Renewable Energy Program

Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 12:05 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — The Lava Ridge Wind Project, which has been proposed for Jerome, Lincoln, and Minidoka counties, would bring 700 jobs to the community, and have an economic impact on southern Idaho for years to come.

“It’s definitely going to be a jobs generator, especially during the construction time frame, but also will have a number of long term jobs as well, and that’s where we saw an opportunity to look at this wonderful asset here at the CSI to their wind technician training program,” said Luke Papez, the project director.

Currently, the renewable energy program visits the Mountain Home and Idaho Falls wind farms, but with this new project, the students wouldn’t need to leave the Magic Valley.

“It’s huge for the students, absolutely huge, I’ve got graduates, who just graduated, who are now working in industry, who are no waiting for that 2-3 year mark, hey I’m going to go back to Lava Ridge so I can go back home, having 1,000 megawatts, up to 400 turbines, that’s massive, it’s phenomenal,” said Eli Bowles, the program director.

Magic Valley Energy opened up a scholarship opportunity for high school students interested in the program. Maria Jimenez from Wendell was awarded the scholarship.

“As a Mexican American woman this is huge for me to be able to move forward with my education, and I’m so thankful to be able to be a part of that and show who I am,” said Maria Jimenez.

The Lava Ridge Wind Project is still in the early phases of permitting and development, if all goes according to plan, it would be in the construction phase beginning in 2023, and fully operational by the end of 2024.

I’m excited to continue to work with LS Power and Magic Valley Energy, it’s a great partnership that’s not official,” said Bowles.

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