KENNEWICK, Wash. — The Horse Heaven Hills wind farm project aims to provide renewable energy, create jobs and bring in more money to the surrounding communities. The farm could have up to 244 wind turbines stretching about 24 miles from Finley to Kiona.
Only living about a mile away from the hills, Margaret Hue said she worries about her property value and health. She said the farmland has been sprayed with harmful chemicals since the 80s and fears the downwind effects.
That’s why Hue is petitioning against the project around the community, often setting up in front of stores.
“[The] public doesn’t know,” said Hue. “When I was at Ranch and Home, 80-85 percent of people have no clue this is coming… this is bad.”
If the proposal passes, the Scout Clean Energy project could give 930 temporary construction jobs. Construction would take about two years.
The Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 348 would send about 150 of its workers to the projects.
“Our thing is just get our guys to work, getting them good-paying jobs locally, in this area, all that money just goes back to our communities,” said the Local 348 business manager, Cisco Elguezabel.
The energy center and wind farm could give 20 million dollars in revenue to the region during the first year then 260 million dollars over the 35-year project, according to its website.
The energy center could help local power supply and ensure fewer power outages/blackouts, according to its website.
An environmental impact report should be out this fall with a public hearing scheduled in January.