Whistling Ridge is a highly energetic wind farm site at approximately 2100 feet elevation in the western Columbia Gorge region. Its wind speeds have been documented for over 10 years. They exceed average wind speeds at the eastern end of the Columbia River Gorge and kick in two hours earlier.
The project area, encompassing 1,152 acres, is used for timber production. Much of the Whistling Ridge project area was recently harvested and will remain a commercial forest cultivated in coordination with wind farm operations.
Whistling Ridge Energy Project LLC, the project sponsor, controls all associated rights of way and has designed the project’s roads to allow equipment associated with multiple megawatt turbines to be delivered and installed.
The project is nearing completion of a 70 MW Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (LGIA) with the Bonneville Power Administration. The LGIA will provide access to a 230 KV transmission line passing through the project site. A new 230/34.5 KV substation is engineered and permitted for uplift power to BPA’s grid.
The project sponsor has consulted with the USFWS regarding wildlife impacts and WDFW has reviewed and accepted a wildlife mitigation parcel on SDS land as consistent with the Washington Wind Power Development Guidelines.
A detailed accounting of the project’s permit compliance requirements can be found in the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council’s site certification agreement for the Whistling Ridge Energy Project at www.efsec.wa.gov
The Washington Governor’s approval of the Whistling Ridge Energy Project Site Certificate was appealed by the Friends of the Columbia Gorge. In a unanimous decision, announced on August 31, 2013, the Washington State Supreme Court dismissed all the plaintiffs’ claims thereby fully supporting the EFSEC site certification agreement.