Horse Heaven Clean Energy Center project awarded to Tri-Cities union crafts

Horse Heaven Clean Energy Center project awarded to Tri-Cities union crafts

Horse Heaven Clean Energy Center project awarded to Tri-Cities union crafts

Horse Heaven Clean Energy Center project awarded to Tri-Cities union crafts

RICHLAND, Wash. — It’s a project that’s raised many questions among Tri-Cities’ residents and even some government officials. But, it appears the Horse Heaven Clean Energy Center is one step closer to becoming a reality in the Tri-Cities.

On June 8, Scout Clean Energy, announced a Memorandum of Understanding between them and Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 348 for the Horse Heaven Clean Energy Center.

This means local Tri-Cities craft unions will be involved in constructing the 1150-megawatt wind, solar and battery facility. Scout Clean Energy said nearly 1,000 local, skilled workers will be employed by the project.

Both parties will sign a project labor agreement, which will be executed between Scout Clean Energy and and the local affiliates of United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America “UBC”, International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers “Iron Workers”, Laborers’ International Union of North America “LiUNA”, International Union of Operating Engineers “IUOE”, and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers “IBEW.”

“It is vital that our members are part of the equitable energy transition,” said Francisco Elguezabel, Business Manager/Secretary-Treasurer, LIUNA Local 348. “With this agreement, our members will be able to build something that will benefit our community for many years to come and be a part of the energy future. We appreciate the efforts that Scout Clean Energy has taken to recognize this importance and we look forward to putting our people to work for a multi-year project.”

It was in March of 2021, that a local group raised concern about the wind farm. The group, Save Our Ridges, disagrees with the project, citing environmental concerns and, overall displeasure with the aesthetics of wind turbines on the ridges that surround Tri-Cities.

The group says they need around $50,000 to $100,000 for legal support to continue their fight against the wind farm.

RELATED: Horse Heaven Wind Farm brings opposition from local group

However, earlier this year, a hearing with Washington state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council’s (EFSEC) recent order found the proposed Horse Heaven Clean Energy Center site consistent with land use regulations. EFSEC is expected to issue a draft environmental impact statement on the project this spring.

“We are proud that the Horse Heaven Clean Energy Center will be built by the hardworking and highly skilled local workforce of the Tri-Cities and Central Washington,” said Senior Project Manager Dave Kobus. “We are fortunate to have such great labor partners and look forward to putting a lot of people to work.”

Soon, Governor Jay Inslee will get a report from EFSEC with a yes/no recommendation to the project.

Stay with KAPP KVEW for the latest updates on the Horse Heaven Clean Energy Center.