Avista will delay building a wind farm south of Reardan, Lincoln County, by at least two years, citing the high cost of wind turbines.

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Avista will delay building a wind farm south of Reardan, Lincoln County, by at least two years, citing the high cost of wind turbines.

“This stuff is really expensive,” said Hugh Imhof, spokesman for the Spokane utility. “Why build a $125 million wind farm if we don’t need it for another two years?”

The windmills, now targeted for operation at the end of 2013, are slated for a gusty ridge five miles south of Reardan, a town west of Spokane.

They’ll be part of Avista’s first wind-generation project, though the utility has been buying credits from a wind farm on the Oregon-Washington border for several years.

The turbines near Reardan will have the capacity to produce 50 megawatts of power, enough for 37,500 homes. But the variability of wind speeds reduces the turbines’ overall output.