Learn more about
wind energy.

Who is Steelhead?

Steelhead Americas (Steelhead) is the North American development arm of Vestas – the global leader in wind energy. Vestas designs, manufactures, installs, and services onshore and offshore wind turbines across the globe. With more than 82,000 turbines across 85 countries, Vestas has installed more wind power than anyone else in the world. By leveraging Vestas’ industry expertise and turbine technology, Steelhead develops new wind and solar projects across the US and brings the benefits of renewable energy to local communities.

With a seasoned team of subject matter experts, we specialize in all stages of the development process and work closely with communities on potential wind projects. Steelhead is in a unique position to connect local communities with opportunities for clean energy and create responsible projects that will benefit generations for decades.

Wind turbines spinning in a sunset

A Deep History of Community Engagement

Steelhead proudly works alongside local landowners like farmers and ranchers, agencies, and partners throughout the development process. We want to hear your voice because we’re flexible about the outcome of this project. Our singular goal is to bring clean, renewable energy to the world one community at a time. We make sure that your area will benefit financially. To us, it’s important to bring modern wind turbines and renewable energy to blend with your local history, vision, and the realities of where you live, so that we can help make it even better.

From the entire community to every individual landowner, we’re completely transparent about timing, pricing, and every development as the project takes shape. We share everything in advance, such as details that might affect your property, business, or day-to-day activities. You can always find the latest information online, from your Whitman County community leaders, our open houses and webinars we offer, or even the school visitations and public events we perform.

Silhouette of a person with a hat standing in front of a wind turbine

Location of Wind Projects

There are several qualities needed for a successful wind project, including adequate wind supply, a sizable electrical grid, and sufficient land area. Locations also need to meet high standards for responsible development when it comes to topics such as transportation, soils, environmental conditions, and more. Whitman County is known as a hotspot for continuous, powerful wind. It’s a prime location to harvest one of nature’s resources that for now just sails along overhead, producing nothing but gusts.

Wind projects last for a projected 30 years, so we’re big on creating trusted partnerships with local landowners. To help your community maximize the benefits, we bring new resources and revenue, more jobs, and millions of dollars for organizations that need it most, such as schools, libraries, law enforcement agencies, and non-profits.

Adding to Your Power Grid

Wind turbines are safe, tested, and reliable. People have been using them for over 1,000 years. It’s now become part of America’s history as well, as we’ve been harvesting renewable electricity since the 1980s. Today, Vestas has installed over 23,000 turbines in the US to date. Vestas has over 6,000 employees across the country with corporate offices in Oregon and Massachusetts and manufacturing facilities in Colorado, creating real American Made wind turbine blades and parts.

The reason for this large geographic spread is clear– wind projects are a positive addition to the grid and strengthen domestic energy production. Wind energy is the number one source of renewable energy in the US. As of January 2022, the U.S. Wind Turbine Database (USWTDB) contains more than 70,800 operating turbines.

Wind projects provide reliable, cost-competitive energy that helps meet growing consumer demand. As Whitman County continues to develop and expand, we’re here to help everyone meet the enhanced need for power.

Economic Opportunities

Wind turbines are no different than harvesting any other cash crop. Landowners generate predictable, steady income, while helping their community by generating power on their land. This increases financial security for landowners, especially in poor growing seasons. The additional income can help keep generational land in the family. Each year, wind projects deliver around $1.9 billion in state and local tax payments and land-lease payments.

Projects like Harvest Hills partner with local businesses and suppliers to create even more community wealth. They also spend money at hotels, restaurants, and other local businesses during the one-year construction process, which brings in millions of dollars in revenue on its own accord.

Wind projects create hundreds of jobs during manufacturing, construction, and service, plus generate long-term jobs that benefit the community for the life of the project. Currently, there are 117,000 Americans employed in the wind industry.

Field of sunflowers


Wind projects like Harvest Hills require little to no water once operational, and do not release harmful air pollutants or CO2 emissions. We don’t have to import resources to burn, or pollute. Because they’re safe for their surroundings and take up a small footprint, the surrounding land can be used for farming, ranching, and more. In addition, wind projects achieve net energy neutrality within six months of operation – meaning the power it takes to build a wind farm is recouped shortly after turbines begin generating power.

Steelhead is committed to environmentally responsible development and is actively engaged in assessing risk and minimizing impacts to wildlife during the development process. We run two years of tests specifically at the sites in Whitman County before we break ground. Developing a wind project also requires a careful approach and comprehensive analysis of environmental conditions in a community, which includes avian studies, wildlife studies, wetland studies, and cultural studies. 

Avian studies

Credible estimates indicate that currently installed capacity affects less than 0.01% of most species’ populations. Steelhead ensures all projects meet federal, state, and local environmental regulations.

Wildlife studies

Steelhead completes a suite of studies before a site is operational to determine minimization and mitigation measures for species of concern.

Wetland studies

Local, state, and federal laws encourage or require the avoidance of sensitive wetlands. Through the design process, Steelhead engineers minimize impacts to wetland characteristics. This is done through aerial imagery as well as on-the-ground delineation, so that impacts to water resources are avoided during construction and operations of the facility.

Cultural studies

Each community has sites and locations that may be of historical significance. Steelhead collaborates with agencies and non-profit groups to make sure placement of project infrastructure is adequately setback from resources eligible for governmental recognition. Our goal is to design projects that respects the histories of all communities.

Harvest Hills
Wind Project
Find out how wind power can partner with the Whitman County community to build a stronger economy.

Sights and Sounds

Wind turbines are impressive engineering marvels and operate safely, quietly, and unobtrusively for landowners and communities. Even still, the prospect of hosting a new project in the community may feel like a substantial change. Wind turbines can be a symbol for working communities prioritizing the economic wellbeing of future generations.

Wind turbines emit little sound. In fact, two people can typically carry on a conversation at normal voice levels even while standing directly below a turbine.

Sky view of a field and woodland landscape

Community Health

Wind farms are a safe and effective means of generating electricity. In fact, a recent study found that the vast majority of people living within five miles of at least one wind turbine report positive or neutral experiences.

The first wind turbines in the United States were built in the 1980s, meaning people have been living and working around wind farms for decades. Scientific evidence, including dozens of peer-reviewed studies, has shown that properly sited wind turbines do not cause negative health effects. This includes concerns such as audible noise, low-frequency noise, infrasound, and shadow flicker.

Property Values

According to multiple peer-reviewed academic studies, wind energy projects have no significant long-term impact on property values and depreciation, with the good effects of a project balancing or surpassing any negative effects.

This 2021 study in “Energy Policy” found that of 2,971 counties, those with turbines actually saw increases in income (5%) and median homes value (2.6%).

Wind energy projects create jobs and generate both economic development and new tax revenues for localities where they are built, benefiting landowners, neighbors, property values and communities.

Operations and Maintenance

Turbines require preventative maintenance once or twice a year. Vestas is a leading service provider with over 1,680 technicians in North America who are highly experienced in ensuring smooth, safe operations throughout a project lifecycle.

In addition, Vestas’ headquarters in Oregon monitors turbine operations across the country 24/7, allowing us to identify and address any upcoming maintenance before it impacts operations.


Harvest Hills Wind is designed to last approximately 30 years and is properly monitored and maintained throughout its lifecycle. Wind turbines can also be re-powered with newer, more efficient technologies over time to extend their useful life.

Before construction, Steelhead will create a decommissioning plan to ensure the wind project is decommissioned safely, responsibly, and sustainably without impacting the land. When a project is retired, we dismantle the wind turbines and restore the environment to its former state. Every component of the turbine within four feet of the surface is removed from the site during a routine decommissioning. Harvest Hills Wind will also follow all of Whitman County's decommissioning requirements that are designed to protect the local community.