Maryhill Museum of Art is helping promote wind power while also trimming its expenses.
The Goldendale museum in Washington state, which has the second largest collection of Rodin’s artwork on the West Coast, recently signed an agreement to allow 15 wind turbines on its property. They will bring in more than $100,000 annually once they begin operating later this year.
It’s the first wind energy project in the U.S. to generate revenues for a nonprofit museum, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
The revenues will help maintain the museum’s building and grounds, said Colleen Schafroth, its executive director. The museum, which also houses the largest public display of Native American basketry in North America, draws about 45,000 visitors annually. Its 2009 budget is more than $1.1 million, Schafroth said.
The turbines will be builton the eastern end of the museum and won’t affect views of the museum and the scenic Gorge.
The project will be run by Windy Point Partners, which also has committed to contribute more than $1 million to preserving Columbia River Gorge.
The museum owns 5,300 acres high above the banks of the Columbia River. Much of its land remains wild, though some is leased to ranchers and farmers to graze cattle and raise crops.
Maryhill Museum of Art is just off Highway 97, 12 miles south of Goldendale, WA.