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CEP awaiting final right-of-way approval
Responding to recent events surrounding the company’s Echanis Wind Energy Project, Columbia Energy Partners’ (CEP) President Chris Crowley said that CEP has every intention of moving forward with the project once litigation surrounding the project’s transmission line right of way is resolved.
“At this point, I am not able to speak in detail about our future plans, but it is safe to say that our project, which had met every requirement except a final approved right of way for our connection to the grid, will move forward once the last issue is resolved.”
Crowley noted that the project:
• Is located on private property, outside of any restricted area and received all necessary permits for the wind project;
• The contested transmission line on federal lands is outside any type of restricted area;
• Completed an exhaustive Environmental Impact Study (EIS) of more than 2,000 pages;
• The wind project is visible from only 0.4 percent of the nearby Steens Mountain Wilderness, at a distance of some eight miles;
• Completed detailed mitigation plans for sage grouse and golden eagles, all approved by state and federal agencies and included in the EIS;
• Enjoys overwhelming support in the local community. The groups suing to stall the project are located in Seattle, Wash., Portland and Bend.
Further, Crowley noted the complementary nature of the Echanis project’s production profile, which mirrors the wind resource patterns in the Columbia River Gorge area, as the chart (right) shows. This type of ‘balance’ is vitally important to making renewable energy cost effective and enhancing grid stability.