HUNTINGTON – Preliminary work has started ahead of the construction of five wind farms in the Huntington area.
Crews are in the hills around the community doing survey and design work on the projects as Oregon Windfarms LLC works on finalizing the permitting process, Robert Guertin, one of three partners in the company said.
The timing is still uncertain, but construction is expected to begin late this year or next year, he said.
There will be a total of 25 turbines located at five different sites, all on private ground, ranging from two to six miles from Huntington, Guertin said.
The project has been in the works for about seven years, from the time that suitable wind was discovered, he said.
According to information provided for the conditional permit, the turbines will be 10-megawatt and will produce enough electricity to meet the demand of about 2,500 homes.
Conditions for the Baker County permit approved last year included that the use must be established in two years, unless extended; turbines must be painted in colors that reduce glare and blend in with the landscape and the turbines must minimize adverse impacts on the Huntington area. The company will also be required during construction to have a weed control plan that will be coordinated with the Baker County Weed Master.
“Only five will be visible from Huntington,” Guertin said. “We’re the developers,” he said, of his company, for which he is one of three partners.
Once built, the turbines will be owned by other companies, three or four different owners, with one company handling the maintenance, he said.
Gurtertin, in an interview last year, said his company has been putting up wind farms for about 20 years, starting in California and has been working on projects in Oregon and Idaho 10 years.
The company has also developed turbines in the Hermiston area, he said.
No further projects are planned in Baker County, he said Tuesday.
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