State regulators dealt a regulatory blow to a massive wind farm proposal in Washington state on Wednesday, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB).
The Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) moved to significantly reduce the amount of area available to the Horse Heaven Hills wind farm development, citing concerns about the project’s potential impacts on hawks and other wildlife, according to OPB. Scout Clean Energy, the company behind the project, has criticized the decision as arbitrary, and Democratic Washington Gov. Jay Inslee will have the final say in whether the project can proceed at the initially proposed scale.
Scout Energy wants to build hundreds of wind turbines along 24 miles of ridgelines in the state’s southeast, but EFSEC’s recommendations would effectively cut the area available to the project in half, according to OPB. The turbines could end up being taller than Seattle’s Space Needle building, and the company also wants to build solar and battery storage capacity on the site.
These wind farms are creating a lot of waste https://t.co/P9uMq2cela
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 6, 2023
Washington is aiming to achieve 100% greenhouse gas emissions-free electricity generation by 2045.
The developer is concerned that EFSEC’s recommendations could effectively kill the project.
EFSEC’s findings “are unsupported by scientific or any other evidence in the record and would render the project both technically and economically nonviable without substantial amendment to the application,” Scout’s President and CEO Michael Rucker wrote to the EFSEC, according to OPB.
The council will craft and send its final recommendations to Inslee after a public comment period, at which point he will then make a final determination on approving the project, according to OPB.
“EFSEC has yet to make a formal recommendation and send over the application for our review,” a spokesperson for Inslee told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
In addition to ecological concerns, other issues with the project raised before the EFSEC include the possibility of turbines interfering with aerial firefighting efforts and potentially “unmitigable impacts to traditional cultural properties,” as EFSEC member Lenny Young said, according to OPB.
The Horse Heaven Hills project is the latest large green energy project to encounter challenges with regulations that environmental activists have used for decades to derail natural gas pipelines and other fossil fuel-related infrastructure projects.
Scout and the EFSEC did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline, and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact [email protected].
Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation