[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Get weekly updates

when your community is targeted


RSS feeds and more

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate via Paypal

Donate via Stripe

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Campaign Material

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Wind Watch is a registered educational charity, founded in 2005.

News Watch Home

Company applies to build massive solar, wind project on farmland 

Credit:  By Don Jenkins | Capital Press | March 23, 2021 | www.capitalpress.com ~~

A state council next week will have public hearings on plans to build solar panels and erect wind turbines on thousands of acres of farmland in Benton County in south-central Washington.

Scout Clean Energy of Boulder, Colo., would lease 72,295 acres. While 6,860 acres would be “permanently impacted,” the rest could remain in agricultural production, according to the company’s application to the Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council.

The project has encountered opposition. Two county commissioners have said they oppose it. Up to 244 wind turbines would be visible in the Tri-Cities, as well as neighboring Franklin and Walla Walla counties and Oregon.

Wheat farmer Chris Wiley, one of 69 landowners who have signed lease agreements, said the stable annual income will help farmers keep farming.

“This is definitely a way to keep family farms in the family for generations,” he said.

“As far as taking farmland out of production, it’s pretty negligible,” Wiley said. “We’ve weighed the pros and cons, and we’ve decided we’re in favor of it.”

Scout Energy, owned by private investment firm Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners, has been putting together the parcels for several years.

Rather than seek approval from a county hearings examiner, the company last month opted to apply to the state council, an unelected board of public employees that makes recommendations to Gov. Jay Inslee.

In its application, Scout Energy said the wind and solar project will help the state have carbon-neutral electricity by 2030, a signature goal of Inslee’s climate-change agenda.

Rep. Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick, said Monday he opposes the project, saying wind turbines have marred Central Washington’s landscape. He called handing over the decision to Inslee “tragic.”

“When so many of my constituents say they oppose something, I listen,” he said. “Now it’s a decision that will be shoved down the local area’s throat.”

Though called Horse Heaven Wind Farm, the project may generate more solar power than wind power. The turbines and panels could generate up to 1,150 megawatts, according to the company. The state’s only nuclear power plant generates 1,207 megawatts.

On average, the project would provide enough electricity for 275,000 houses, according to the company, and cattle and sheep could graze near the turbines and up to the fences around the solar panels.

“We call it a drought-proof crop,” Scout Energy community outreach manager Javon Smith said. “Wind farms co-exist well with farmland.”

The energy council will hold via Skype two public hearings back-to-back Tuesday, March 30.

The first hearing will be 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and include presentations about the project and a chance for the public to comment.

The second hearing will be 7:30 to 9 p.m. on whether the solar and wind farm is consistent with local land-use laws. The land is designated for agriculture, but officials can approve other uses.

More information on signing up to testify and watching the hearings is available at efsec.wa.gov. Written comments may be emailed to efsec@utc.wa.gov.

Source:  By Don Jenkins | Capital Press | March 23, 2021 | www.capitalpress.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
   Donate via Paypal
(via Paypal)
Donate via Stripe
(via Stripe)


e-mail X FB LI M TG TS G Share

News Watch Home

Get the Facts
© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.


Wind Watch on X Wind Watch on Facebook Wind Watch on Linked In

Wind Watch on Mastodon Wind Watch on Truth Social

Wind Watch on Gab Wind Watch on Bluesky