Canadian Developer Proposes Wind Farm Southeast of Echo

Halkirk Wind
A 350-megawatt wind farm has been proposed to be built on 44,900 acres southeast of Echo. (Photo: Capital Power)

A Canadian developer has proposed a 350-megawatt wind farm on 44,900 acres southeast of Echo.

In its application for state approval, Capital Power of Edmonton said it intends to connect the Nolin Hills Wind Power Project project to the Northwest power grid at a yet-to-be-built substation at Stanfield. No buyer has been identified for the project’s power.

The proposed project is about four miles south-southeast of Echo and 10 miles west of Pendleton.

Among its attributes, the project offers a “strong wind resource” and its “wind profile is differentiated nicely from the Columbia River Gorge,” the company said.

The project would be located on a site owned by a single landowner, the company said. Tax lots within the project boundary include those owned by Cunningham Sheep Co. and Pendleton Ranches Inc., which share the same Pendleton postal address.

The project will require an Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council site certificate. The company said it expects construction to begin in 2019 and operation targeted for the end of 2020.

An average of 250 employees would work on site during construction. An estimated 20 operational employees, including contract workers, will be permanently employed at its full capacity.

The application says an 18-mile overhead 230-kilovolt transmission line would connect the project to Bonneville Power Administration’s proposed Stanfield Substation.

According to the application, “The Applicant has negotiated or in is in the final stages of negotiating long-term wind energy leases or easements with the landowners. Easements also will be negotiated with adjacent landowners for the 230-kV transmission line corridor outside of the Site Boundary, as needed.”

Capital Power owns about 4,500 megawatts of power generation capacity at 24 facilities in North America, its website says.

A neighboring wind project to the west, NextEra’s Wheatridge Wind Energy Facility, recently received its state site certificate and would total 500 megawatts if built.