Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) has been asked by SDS Lumber Company to interconnect its proposed Whistling Ridge Energy Project in Skamania County, Washington, to the Federal Columbia River Transmission System (FCRTS).
To inform its decision on whether to allow the proposed interconnection, BPA has prepared a joint Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) with the State of Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC). Whistling Ridge Energy LLC would independently build, own and operate the wind project and their associated facilities.
The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) has been issued for the proposed Whistling Ridge Energy Project. EFSEC and BPA have worked together to ensure that this FEIS meets the requirements of both SEPA and NEPA. The FEIS describes the proposed Project and the environmental effects expected from both the proposed wind facility as well as BPA's proposed interconnection and substation facilities.
In March 2012, the Governor of Washington approved issuance of the Whistling Ridge Project site certificate with project modifications, including reducing the number of turbines. A legal challenge regarding the approval of the site certificate by EFSEC and the Governor has been filed in state court. BPA is not planning on issuing a Record of Decision (ROD) regarding interconnection of the proposed project to the FCRTS until there is greater clarity on the status of the project.