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Whistling Ridge Energy Project (DOE/EIS-0419)
Skamania County, Washington


  • 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).

    In June 2002, SDS Lumber Company submitted a generation interconnection request for 70-MW on the North Bonneville-Midway 230-kV transmission line approximately five miles west of BPA's Underwood Substation. Subsequently, SDS Lumber Company created a new limited liability company called Whistling Ridge Energy LLC, which submitted an application with WA EFSEC for site certification for the wind project. Whistling Ridge Energy LLC would finance, develop, own and operate the proposed wind project. The proposed wind facility would consist of up to approximately 50, 1.2- to 2.5-MW wind turbines up to 426 feet tall, as well as infrastructure such as newly-constructed and improved roads, transformers, underground collector lines, a substation, and an operations and maintenance (O&M) facility.

    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.

    This joint SEPA/NEPA EIS has allowed the coordination of EFSEC actions with federal actions in fulfillment of EFSEC's SEPA rules at Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 463-47-150. This joint EIS also complies with NEPA implementing regulations specifying that federal agencies shall cooperate with state and local agencies to the fullest extent possible, including by preparing joint state-federal EISs, to avoid duplication between NEPA and comparable state requirements (See 40 CFR § 1506.2).

    While EFSEC and BPA are the entities that have prepared the draft EIS, these agencies have worked collaboratively with Whistling Ridge Energy LLC to obtain necessary information about the project and its potential impacts for the EIS. Initially, EFSEC had intended to allow Whistling Ridge Energy LLC to prepare the EIS, as allowed by SEPA; however, after public concern was raised, EFSEC and BPA decided that the lead agencies would be directly responsible for preparing the EIS. Accordingly, we have used environmental information provided by Whistling Ridge Energy LLC and its consultants in the EIS as appropriate. All such information has been independently evaluated and reviewed for accuracy by the lead agencies, as well as by an independent, third party consultant retained by EFSEC.


    The final environmental impact statement (FEIS) was issued for the proposed Whistling Ridge Energy Project in August 2011. EFSEC and BPA 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 maximum number of allowed turbines. A legal challenge regarding the Governor and EFSEC's approval of the site certificate subsequently was filed in state court. The Washington State Supreme Court recently upheld the Governor's approval of the Project and BPA is now in the process of reviewing relevant post-Final EIS information and other considerations so that we can complete appropriate NEPA documentation to inform our decision concerning the Project.


  • For environmental-related information, contact:
    Katey Grange
    Environmental Protection Specialist

    Bonneville Power Administration - KEC-4
    P.O. Box 3621
    Portland, OR 97208-3621

    Direct line:


    For project information, contact:
    Amy M. Gardner
    Project Manager

    Bonneville Power Administration - TEP-TPP-1
    P.O. Box 61409
    Vancouver, WA 98666-1409

    Direct line:



    (All documents are in pdf format)

    EPA's Comments on the Final EIS (306Kb pdf) (10/03/11)
    Final EIS Public Letter (29Kb pdf) (08/23/11)
    Final EIS (42.5MB pdf) (August 2011)
    Appendices A-B (56.4MB pdf)
    Appendices C-F (66.4MB pdf)
    Appendix G (4.8MB pdf)
    Appendix H (100.8MB pdf)

    Draft EIS comments received
    Draft EIS Public Letter (29Kb pdf) (05/25/10)
    Draft EIS Comment Form (9Kb pdf) (05/25/10)
    Draft EIS (05/21/10)
    Cover & Table of Contents (263Kb pdf) (05/21/10)
    Chapter 1 - Summary, Purpose and Need for Action 1.3MB pdf) (05/21/10)
    Chapter 2 - Proposed Actions and Alternatives (4MB pdf) (05/21/10)
    Chapter 3 - Affected Environment (35.7MB pdf) (05/21/10)
    Chapter 4 - Environmental Consultation, Review, and Permitting Requirements (66Kb pdf) (05/21/10)
    Chapter 5 - Distribution List (26Kb pdf) (05/21/10)
    Chapter 6 - List of Preparers (39Kb pdf) (05/21/10)
    Chapter 7 - Index (49Kb pdf) (05/21/10)
    Appendix A - Site Certification Application (41.9MB pdf) (05/21/10)
    Appendix B - Geotechnical Reports (14.9MB pdf) (05/21/10)
    Appendix C - Wildlife Reports (57.4MB pdf) (05/21/10)
    Appendix D - Land Use Consistency (3.3MB pdf) (05/21/10)
    Appendix E - Historic and Cultural Resources (738Kb pdf) (05/21/10)
    Appendix F - Consultant Disclosure Statements (2.9MB pdf) (05/21/10)
    Updated Project Vicinity Map (707Kb pdf) (05/05/10)

    Scoping comments received
    Letter to the Public (32Kb pdf) (04/17/09)
    Comment Form (13Kb pdf) (04/17/09)
    Project Vicinity Map (1.6MB pdf) (04/17/09)
    Notice of Intent (1.1MB pdf) (04/21/09)

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