Benton County Opposes Tri-City Wind Farm Project
The Benton County Commissioners passed a resolution this week which formally sets forth opposition to the Horse Heaven Wind Farm Project.
The project was first proposed in June 2021 by Scout Clean Energy LLC, and is slated to run roughly 29 miles in unincorporated Benton County from Benton City all the way out to the Finley area.
The Commissioners note that the proposed project area contains unique geological features, comprised of naturally vegetated steep slopes, native habitat, commercially significant agricultural land as well as visual resources, and therefore they find the project to be undesirable. In the press release, the Commissioners state that the Horse Heaven Wind Farm Project’s industrial use, project size and location would make “the project inconsistent and incompatible with required outright permitted uses in the Growth Management Act Agricultural Zoning District, the Washington State designation of long-term commercially agricultural lands, and the required conditional use permit criteria.”
Commissioners emphasized through out the Washington State Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council’s public comment periods their concerns and opposition to the Horse Heaven Wind Farm Project. The Board has also been consistent through the entire process, stating the Horse Heaven Wind Farm Project will negatively impact and conflict with the Horse Heaven Hills view-shed, critical areas, agricultural lands of long-term commercial significance and cultural resources, all while increasing the risks associated with fire and wildlife.
According to a website set up by Scout Energy concerning the project, "The Horse Heaven Clean Energy Center aims to combine wind, solar, and battery storage components to produce up to 1150MW of renewable energy for the region and the State of Washington. This hybrid approach will help stabilize grids, increase efficiencies, and lower power costs while creating significant economic opportunities in the form of jobs, development, and new revenue."
However, many in the community say that the goals stated above would not be worth the impact to the surrounding area for numerous reasons. Essentially, the juice won't be worth the squeeze.