A Closer Look at Proposed Horse Heaven Hills Windfarm Project
The battle continues over the development of what would be the largest wind farm project in the state of Washington.
How big is the Horse Heaven Hills Wind Farm proposal?
The project first came to public light in late 2021, but according to the group Tri-Cities C.A.R.E.S, preliminary work began as far back as 2017. Tri-Cities Cares is a non-profit group of area residents who are pushing back against the rapid speed with which the project is being pushed along.
According to Tri-Cities CARES, Scout Energy of Colorado, the company behind the wind farm, began working to obtain leases, permits, and other preliminary steps to put the 26-mile-long project down the spine of the Horse Heaven Hills six years ago. That was well before the 'public' announcement came in 2021.
The plan originally called for about 150 671-foot-tall turbines running from the Finley area to south of Benton City, now it appears Scout is favoring an option with as many as 244 shorter 499-foot-tall units.
Tri-Cities CARES also says there is a solar panel and battery-energy storage portion of the plan that many people are not aware of. The solar panel portion could see dozens of acres covered in solar panels, and large battery-energy storage sites are also planned.
The group says wind farm will disturb natural habitats
Hawks, antelope, and several other animal and bird species would be affected, according to the research done by Tri-City CARES. They also say, based on research done in other areas that already have wind farms, real state values will drop significantly, and other economic impacts will occur.
They also say the project, especially during construction, will create massive amounts of dust. The Tri-Cities area already sees its share of big dirt storms, Tri-Cities CARES says the wind farm would massively increase the amount of dirt in the air.
Currently, the project is still in what is called the adjudication stage, several hearings have been held, testimony taken, and now the project is still being worked over by the Energy Facility Site Evaluation, Counncil, or EFSEC.
There are opportunities for the public to weigh in on this project, to find out more, click here.
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