Shepherds Flat wind farm gets go-ahead from feds
A months-long stand-off came to a close today after the Deputy Secretary of Defense informed U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and U.S. Congressman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) that the Pentagon would no longer block construction of the Shepherds Flat Wind Farm in Oregon’s Gilliam and Morrow counties, according to a press release from Wyden's office.
The U.S. Department of Defense, which objected to the giant wind farm because of fears it would interfere with a radar system in the region, will instead upgrade that system. The decision also eliminates the threat to other planned wind farms in that part of the Columbia River Basin.
If it's completed as planned, the Shepherds Flat Wind Farm near Arlington will be the largest in the world, producing 845 megawatts of power, enough to provide electricity to about 211,000 households. Caithness Energy, the project developer, is expected to hire as many as 700 construction workers to build the wind farm.
Members of the Oregon delegation fought hard for the project's approval in part because of the jobs it will bring to a depressed area of the state.
“This is a major relief for the landowners, business owners, and community members who endured weeks of nerve-wracking uncertainty over the future of the project,” said Sen. Wyden in a press release.
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