Wind Energy - Visual Impacts and Public Perceptions
Wild Horse Wind back
Developer: Horizon/Puget Sound Energy
Figure 1: Wild Horse Wind, after construction
Horizon Wind developed WHWP and sold the Site Certification Agreement (SCA) to Puget Sound Energy (PSE) in August 2005. PSE currently operates and distributes the power from the project to its customers through PSE's Intermountain Power 115 kV transmission line. Horizon Wind was owned by Goldman Sachs at the time of development (it has subsequently been sold to EDP, a major Portuguese utility that focuses on renewable energy), and has developed wind projects throughout the United States. PSE is Washington's oldest and largest utility company. The WHWP is PSE's second wind power facility and wind power currently makes up 2% of their power supply profile.
On their website, Horizon Wind branded the project as providing “affordable, pollution-free electricity to the Northwest,” that has brought new jobs and substantial property tax revenues to Kittitas County. Furthermore, they write that the different parts of the project “blend well with other land uses”. Their website displays a picture of the project with a wolf trotting through a snowy landscape filled with turbines. PSE's website stresses the new jobs and “more than $2 million in tax revenue annually to the community” through the project. The project includes a 500 kW demonstration solar array and in April 2008, PSE opened their “Renewable Energy Center” at the site. Open to the public seven days a week from April to November, the Center includes views of the entire facility, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, and the Columbia River Basin to the east. Interpretive displays at the center, developed by Central Washington University, “lead visitors on a trail of discovery as they learn about the site and renewable energy.”
Horizon Energy. "Wild Horse Wind Farm." <http://horizonwind.com/projects/whatwevedone/images/Wild-Horse_051408.jpg>. (Accessed August 4, 2008).
Last updated January 2012.
This work by Roopali Phadke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.