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The Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility provides approximately 273 megawatts (MW) (as of October 2012) of affordable, pollution-free electricity to the Northwest, which is equal to the annual energy requirements of around 80,000 homes. Located near Ellensburg in Kittitas County, Washington, this facility, operated by Puget Sound Energy, has 149 turbines spanning across 10,000 acres. Wild Horse came on line in December 2006, and was expanded in 2009. One of the great things about Wild Horse is that it has a visitor center - you can drive right up to it, with spectacular up-close-and-personal views of the wind turbines. The center is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily, April through November, weather permitting. It features a conference facility with a meeting room accommodating 48 people, and a kitchen and catering facilities. Lands within the Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility are also open to hunting, hiking, bird watching, horseback riding and other recreational activities by written permission only (apply for a permit online to pick up at the visitor center). Gates along the Beacon Ridge Road are open April 1 to Nov. 30, from two hours before sunrise to two hours after sunset. Wild Horse also contains the Pacific Northwest's largest solar-power array that can generate up to 500 kilowatts of electricity.
Location: Kittitas County, Washington
Acreage: 86,000 acres
Project Size: 230 MW
Turbines: 127 Online Date: Late 2006
The Wild Horse Wind Farm is located in central Washington's Kittitas Valley, which has long been known for its vigorous winds. The wind farm is placed on the high open ridge tops of Whiskey Dick Mountain between the towns of Kittitas and Vantage. The open rangeland is currently zoned as Forest and Range by Kittitas County. The project site was selected for its energetic wind resource and its access to several sets of power transmission lines, which have adequate capacity to allow the wind-generated power to be integrated into the power grid system.
The Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility, located in Central Washington, is Puget Sound Energy's second wind-powered electric generation facility. It is also the utility's largest wind farm with 127 turbines. Wholly owned by PSE, Wild Horse has the capacity to generate up to 229 megawatts (MW) of electricity. Construction began in October 2005, and was completed in December 2006, with a 22-turbine, 44 MW expansion underway in 2009. According to the American Wind Energy Association, one megawatt of wind power capacity is equal to the electricity needs of 225 to 300 average U.S. homes.
Environmental Impact Statement
The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) examines the project's purpose, need, and benefits, and the potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts of the project, providing proposed measures to avoid, minimize, or mitigate potential impacts. Environmental studies undertaken for the document examine land use, vegetative communities, wildlife, hydrology (including floodplains and wetlands), geology, and visual and cultural (historical and archaeological) resources within a study area encompassing the proposed facilities. These studies examine all generating facility components, including proposed turbine locations, electrical interconnects, access roads, and substation facilities. The DEIS for Wild Horse Wind Farm was released in August 2004.
Turbines and Towers
Wild Horse Headquarters
25901 Vantage Highway Ellensburg, WA 98926
509-964-7809 office 509-964-7808 fax
For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Vestas Wind Turbines (211 kb)