The West Butte Wind Energy Project will comprise up to fifty-two 2-3MW wind turbines in Deschutes and Crook Counties, Oregon.
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It is one of four schemes approved by Salazar last Thursday — the others being two utility-scale solar developments in California and a transmission line in Southern California to service large-scale solar in the region.
In addition, the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has issued Notices of Intent to begin environmental analyses of two wind projects and a solar-energy project located in California with a combined generating capacity of more than 370MW.
West Butte had to be cleared by Salazar because it includes an access road and transmission line that would cross about 4.5 miles of BLM lands.
As part of the clearance given by Salazar, BLM is requiring the developer — West Butte Wind Power — to mitigate 9,000 acres of sage grouse habitat by providing funding for the restoration and enhancement of a similar amount and type of habitat on BLM lands.
The company will also provide funds through Crook County to purchase conservation easements for sage grouse management, work with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to develop an Avian (golden eagle) and Bat Protection Plan and prepar a Wildlife Mitigation and Monitoring Plan.