Articles filed under Impact on Landscape from Oregon

Sevenmile wind project dies; First Wind letter withdraws application (includes link to letter)

A controversial proposal to site wind turbines on Sevenmile Hill near The Dalles has been cancelled. A letter from Massachusetts-based applicant First Wind dated Jan. 20 formally withdrew the company's application. ..."We're dancing in the street," said attorney Mark Womble, a Sevenmile resident who was part of fierce opposition to the plan. "We're excited. We're very happy."
22 Jan 2009

The wrong view on the Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail is in the way of a gold rush that promises to demolish part of our history and leave us poorer. The Oregon Economic and Community Development Department is commanded by statute to promote the Oregon Trail as a major tourist attraction consistent with maintaining the historical integrity of the Oregon Trail; I wish that were the gold rush I write about. The gold rush that threatens the Oregon Trail is "free" and "green" energy from wind power.
20 Jan 2009

Plan to build wind farms near Steens is generating controversy

"Some of these areas are ecologically sensitive, and because this is renewable energy and something that we all expect is done ‘green,' there's an expectation that they balance environmental impacts with the development," Fenty said. Turbines can strike and kill birds and bats, and their construction and maintenance can disturb elk, deer and pronghorn, he said. The developer needs to take a look at the effects of the project, and show that these turbines won't have a substantial impact on the environment, Fenty said. ..."It's our assessment that the wind tower itself, and all of the activity around it from the wind tower operating, will be enough disturbance to the birds that (the) particular breeding area and nesting area will basically be extirpated," or wiped out, he said.
30 Nov 2008

Presentation sparks wind discussion

Citizens in the Milton-Freewater area took another opportunity to voice their opposition to wind turbines in the Blue Mountains at a city council meeting Monday night. What started as an informational meeting by Horizon Wind Farms representative Valerie Schafer-Franklin turned into a discussion between citizens both on and off Weston Mountain about what they want to see happen, or not happen, in the Blues.
26 Sep 2008

Citizens discuss frustration over wind turbines in Blue Mountains

The idea of looking out onto the foothills of the Blue Mountains from Highway 11 or Milton-Freewater and seeing wind turbines sounds like a nightmare for some people who look at that view every day. But not many of those people have had much of a chance to express their frustration. Citizen Richard Jolly hosted a meeting Thursday in Milton-Freewater where many people got a chance to vet their frustrations and discuss their concerns.
21 Sep 2008

Eastern Oregon attracting wind power development

In Harney County, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the county have seen a jump in interest surrounding the windy Eastern Oregon ridges and peaks near Steens Mountain as wind development companies look for different sources of the renewable power to meet state standards. Harney County has already permitted one wind farm and is considering three more ... But the wind farms that have either been approved or are under construction would add 2,400 megawatts to that total in the coming years, he said. "Oregon in the next couple of years will move from around ninth in the country (for wind power production) to maybe third," Torres said.
11 Aug 2008

Wind whips up health fears

Sherry Eaton pulled into the driveway of her rural, high-desert home to see one of several giant wind turbines being assembled a half-mile away. "I started to cry," Eaton, 57, recalled of her first sight of the Willow Creek Wind Project in late July. "They're going to be hanging over the back of our house, and now there's the medical thing." "The medical thing" is new research suggesting that living close to wind turbines, as Eaton and her 60-year old husband, Mike, soon will be doing, can cause sleep disorders, difficulty with equilibrium, headaches, childhood "night terrors" and other health problems. ...Concerns also are coming out of Europe about low-frequency noise from newly built wind turbines. For example, British physician Amanda Harry, in a February 2007 article titled "Wind Turbines, Noise and Health," wrote of 39 people, including residents of New Zealand and Australia, who suffered from the sounds emitted by wind turbines.
10 Aug 2008

Proposed wind farm may be visible to Portland/Vancouver residents

A proposed wind farm development Washington is creating some controversy. While the plan is still in the very early stages, the designers envision placing wind turbines on a ridge near Larch Mountain, east of Battle Ground. ...A proposed wind farm development Washington is creating some controversy. While the plan is still in the very early stages, the designers envision placing wind turbines on a ridge near Larch Mountain, east of Battle Ground.
30 May 2008

Plans for controversial wind farm in limbo

A Massachusetts-based energy company is running into roadblocks as it tries to develop a wind farm on the hills above this Columbia Gorge town. It has been nearly a year since UPC Wind first asked state regulators to review the 40-turbine project in the windy stretches of the gorge. Revisions promised more than six months ago, have yet to materialize. UPC is faced with problems trying to rearrange the turbines to make them less visible from a federally protected scenic area, but still in breezy enough spots to produce a moneymaking venture. The company also is also trying to mollify angry residents near the proposed site, on Sevenmile Hill. It is organized and strong.
1 Apr 2008

State waits to hear Mosier wind farm response

Plans for a controversial wind farm on the hills above Mosier may be faltering. Almost a year has passed since developer UPC Wind first asked state regulators to review the 40-turbine project, which lies within the windy stretches of the Columbia River Gorge. Revisions to the proposal, promised more than six months ago, have yet to materialize. The delays underscore the difficulties UPC Wind faces as it tries to rearrange the turbines so that they're less visible from a federally protected scenic area, but still in breezy enough spots to produce a moneymaking venture. The Massachusetts-based company also is struggling to appease an outpouring of anger from residents near the proposed site, on Sevenmile Hill. So far, opposition remains organized and strong.
1 Apr 2008

Ambitious wind farm idea pushes on in gorge

An energy developer from New York is moving forward with a project to build a gargantuan wind farm along the Columbia River in Gilliam and Morrow counties. If built out as proposed, Shepherd's Flat wind farm would be the largest in the Northwest and more than double the size of any individual wind project under development in Oregon. It would include as many as 303 wind turbines, some stretching 500 feet tall. At peak capacity, the project could generate up to 909 megawatts ...It would include 57 miles of new access roads, two substations, six meteorological towers, 17 miles of high-voltage transmission lines and another 103 miles of collector transmission lines. The application lists about 25 landowners within the site or within 500 feet of its boundaries.
4 Dec 2007

Group forming to battle windmill farm project

The wide open spaces and natural terrain and wildlife of Southeastern Washington are fading, and some residents would like the encroaching effects of urbanization toned down, such as a proposed project that would place 35 to 50 turbines on Rattlesnake Mountain. More than 30 people showed up Saturday at the Richland Community Center for a meeting to oppose a proposed windmill farm at the base of the mountain. ...Rick Leaumont, chairman of the Audubon Society's conservation committee, agreed that urgency in protesting the project is necessary because about 238 bird species have been documented in the area, and would be effected by the windmills. "Wildlife needs some kind of solitude, a place that is theirs," Leaumont said. "Any location on the mountain would be a problem."
4 Nov 2007

Winds of change: Oregon’s charge for clean, green electricity may be neither quite so clean nor quite so green as it first seemed

Electricity is so cool. Always there for us, at the flick of a switch. But where, exactly, does it come from? And what gets hurt on its way? When deciding how to generate power, this much is clear. Oregonians don't like nukes. Too scary. And they don't like coal. Too dirty. They're not even sure about liquefied natural gas. What is that stuff, anyway? Hydro? Sure, Oregonians used to like hydro. But that was then: before salmon started disappearing by the gazillion. This is now: We're tearing out dams, not building new ones. But wait, here comes the answer: blowing in the wind. Make that in the safe, reliable, clean, green, free, fish-hugging wind. We all love windmills, right? But hang on there, Bub. What about loving windmills in your backyard?
19 Aug 2007

Clean energy with a cluttered view

Now a Massachusetts company wants to catch the wind that whips across the ridge between Mosier and The Dalles. The Cascade Wind Project proposed by UPC Wind Partners is the first to reach into a rural Oregon community. Predictably, the 389-foot towers have riled the locals. Yet the clash goes deeper than a spat between neighbors and a developer. The northern cluster of Cascade Wind's turbines would brush the boundary of the federally protected Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. That sets up a conflict between Northwest values, pitting a revved-up desire to advance clean, renewable energy against the long-held belief that rural and scenic areas deserve special care.
14 Aug 2007

Wind on the horizon

A proposal by Massachusetts-based UPC Wind to locate the 40-tower, 60-megawatt Cascade Wind Farm on Sevenmile would certainly change the landscape of that area. Scads of residents have, over the months, expressed disapproval over issues such as how 40 wind turbines, each nearly 400-feet-tall would damage the scenery around the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Others are troubled over the reported health hazards the turbines may pose to people in homes situated around them.
24 Jun 2007
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