We periodically scour social media and many information sources as part of our coverage of the Mid Columbia, and often, we find big or interesting stories. This could be one of them.
On the website HikeTriCities.com, we found a blog entry dated September 6, about an ambitious wind farm project. Now, look to the south, and you will see wind turbines dotting the landscape. But this one is getting attention because it’s tentatively planned to be built directly in the Horse Heaven Hills area.
A company called Scout Clean Energy has targeted the Horse Heaven Hills as a site for a potential wind turbine farm, that would stretch 24 miles across the actual ridges of one of the Tri-Cities most treasured landmarks. As many as 212 wind turbines would be installed in multiple rows. Apparently they’ve been working to develop a wind energy project in Benton County since 2016. The Hike Tri-Cities website says they would stretch from Jump Off Joe to Benton City, a Google map at the Scout website appears to corroborate that data.
This has been one of the quieter wind farm projects that we’ve seen. Very little if any press about it. And now, there appears to be growing opposition.
There’s a sub-website at Scout Clean Energy that lays out their plans, horseheavenwindfarm.com. Apparently there are already acres under wind energy lease for the project as well as easement agreements with landowners who are participating in the project.
Scout Clean Energy says only small parts of agricultural land are being removed from actual production.
What appears to set this project apart from others is that it’s in the Horse Heaven Hills area, which is considered very scenic and special by many area residents, including those who live nearby and those who hike and recreate in the area.
There has been, and appears to be growing resistance to wind farm projects. The website Stop These Things collects information from anti-wind groups all over the globe. Their goal, according to their website, appears to be to expose the “fraud” of the wind power movement. They also focus on the damage done to environmental habitats from killing birds and disrupting lands, to ‘visual pollution’ caused by forests of turbines dotting the landscape.
It appears there’s some effort to generate public resistance to this, based upon the information from the post on the Hike Tri-Cities site.
Scout’s website says they’re a relatively newer company founded in Colorado in 2016. They deal in wind and solar projects.
To see the project website, click on the button below.
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