(Port Angeles) — Plans for the first major wind farm in Western Washington have been canceled because of federal restrictions to protect a threatened seabird, the marbled murrelet.
Clallam PUD had been part of a consortium of public utility districts and Energy Northwest seeking to put the wind farm in at Radar Ridge near Naselle.
Last week, Clallam PUD voted to get out of the deal. The PUD had spent four years and about 300-thousand dollars in developing the wind farm.
Clallam PUD general manager Doug Nass says the wind farm would’ve been a big part the local PUD’s efforts to meet state mandates for renewable energy as part its energy mix.
Along with Clallam PUD, Energy Northwest was working with the Pacific County, Grays Harbor and Mason County public utility districts on the project that would have generated enough electricity for about 18,000 homes.
Energy Northwest says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service imposed “untenable” restrictions on the wind farm because studies showed one bird could have been harmed every two years.