As the project was being constructed this summer, nearby homeowners in Kennewick initially objected to the size of the turbines turning on the ridge above their neighbourhood, but Energy Northwest's Gary Miller says the opposition has waned in the past couple of months as people realise the slow-turning machines actually had a "stately majesty."
Plans for a second wind farm of comparable size on a nearby ridge has slowed, says Miller, mostly due to the glacial pace of getting the US Department of Energy (DOE), a huge presence in the area, to sign on to buy power from the Zintel Canyon project (Windpower Monthly, May 2002). Federal regulations may require DOE to go through a solicitation process before it chooses a power source. "We had hoped that DOE would commit to a fairly large part of the project," Miller says. If the DOE goes to tender, he says, it may slow the project, but won't kill it.