Columbia River wind farm transmission connection challenged

columbia river gorge elp

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Opponents of a wind farm on the north side of the Columbia River Gorge are challenging the approval to connect the project to the energy grid.

Friends of the Columbia Gorge and Save Our Scenic Area filed a petition for judicial review on Wednesday. It challenges Bonneville Power Administration's decision to approve the Whistling Ridge Energy Project's application to connect to BPA's grid.

The groups say the agency hasn't adequately reviewed the project's impacts to wildlife and to views in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

In 2012, Washington state officials approved SDS Lumber Co.’s plans to build up to 35 wind turbines in Skamania County. Environmentalists sued, but the state's Supreme Court upheld the approval.

In June, the BPA offered the project contract terms for connecting to its grid.

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