Planned wind energy project terminated

Energy Northwest and four other public utility districts (PUDs) voted Nov. 10 to terminate development of the 82 MW Radar Ridge Wind Project near Naselle, Wash. The participating PUDs are Pacific County, Grays Harbor, Clallam County and Mason County 3.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service presented the participants with its draft National Environmental Policy Act alternative, which included shutting down the wind turbines during daylight hours for six-and-a-half months, creating a $10 million mitigation fund for Wildlife and Fisheries, granting a five-year permit instead of a 30-year permit that would be extended after environmental reviews; and installing bird-monitoring technology that Energy Northwest said has not been proven.

The project would have had as many as 32 wind turbines and was to be the first large-scale wind project in western Washington. The project was also favored for its "winter peaking" potential because it was expected to produce the majority of its power in the winter months when the participating utilities need it most.

The project's proposed location is an area deemed by project opponents to be environmentally sensitive because of the presence of marbled murrelets, a threatened species of seabird.

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