Eagle concerns threaten wind farms

Protection requirements for golden eagles have slowed several major wind power projects in Eastern Oregon.

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The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service has remmended a six-mile buffer between the nests of protected golden eagles and wind turbines.

This request has stalled wind power developments in Wasco and Gilliam Counties, prompting Portland General Electric to change its plan to buy development rights.

The utility withdrew a request to regulators to waive normal competitive bidding requirements that apply to acquisition of new power plants. PGE originally said it needed to act fast to secure rights to one of the dwindling number of good development sites on the mid Columbia.

The utility said Wednesday that Rock Creek could still prove a feasible project, but it was no longer necessary to step outside the normal process on a project that could be affected by similar wildlife concerns.

Read more at OregonLive.



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