Cantwell Tours Hopkins Ridge Wind Facility

Says investment in a clean energy future will power job creation and economic growth

DAYTON, WA – Today, U.S Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) toured Hopkins Ridge Wind Facility to stress the importance of developing and diversifying Washington state’s clean energy resources to support job creation, stimulate economic growth, and protect the environment.

“Renewable energy projects like this are critical to securing Washington state’s economic future as a clean energy leader,” said Senator Cantwell. “During these tough economic times, clean energy has proven to be a bright spot, infusing investment into our communities and workforce when we need it most. Taking the right steps to unleash investment in a clean energy future will provide benefits and opportunities to current and future Washingtonians, as well as preserve our beautiful environment.”

The Hopkins Ridge Wind Facility, owned and operated by Puget Sound Energy (PSE), became operational in November 2005, with 87 wind turbines spanning 11,000-acres of mostly privately owned range and farm land, providing electricity to over 50,000 homes. The economic stimulus generated from 18 permanent jobs in Columbia County and leasing-income for landowners benefit the local community by contributing more than $900,000 in annual tax revenue.

PSE also operates and owns the Wild Horse Wind Facility in Kittitas County and announced in May that it will begin construction of a third major wind facility, the Lower Snake River Wind Project, in Garfield County near Pomeroy. This project will create up to 150 green jobs during the construction phase, and up to 25 permanent jobs for maintenance and operations. The Bellevue-based utility is the oldest and largest investor-owned utility in the Pacific Northwest and the leading producer of non-hydro renewable energy. PSE is recognized by the American Wind Energy Association as the nation’s second-largest utility owner and operator of wind power. 

In October 2008, Cantwell spearheaded bipartisan negotiations that ended a nearly year and a half Congressional stalemate and allowed a historic $17 billion clean energy tax package to pass the Senate by a vote of 93 to 2. The measure included renewable energy production tax credits that are critical to getting new wind farms built and keeping costs low for ratepayers. Cantwell has made making our nation's energy system cleaner, more efficient, and more diverse one of her top priorities. She leverages her membership on the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources, Commerce, and Finance Committees to push her vision of a clean energy economy and to support budding clean energy industries, while bringing tax relief to the American people and opening new markets to American goods and services.