A recently released independent scientific peer review confirms that a proposed wind project near Naselle, Wash., will not have a significant impact on the marbled murrelet, according to the Grays Harbor Public Utility District (PUD).
Development of the Radar Ridge Wind Project is being considered by four western Washington PUDs: Clallam County PUD No. 1, Grays Harbor PUD No. 1, Pacific County PUD No. 2 and Mason County PUD No. 3, in conjunction with Energy Northwest, a consortium of 27 Washington state public power providers.
The Radar Ridge Wind Project, proposed on Department of Natural Resources (DNR) land, could generate up to 82 MW and is expected to consist of up to 32 wind turbines. The site for the proposed project has existing nearby electricity transmission lines with adequate available capacity to support the project.
The PUDs commissioned an independent peer review of a scientific model at the recommendation of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the Washington DNR and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Developed by Western Ecosystems Technology Inc., the model simulated the risk of harm to marbled murrelets due to the proposed wind project. The model concludes that project construction and operation will not have a significant impact on this coastal seabird listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
‘It is important that decisions regarding this project are based upon an objective review of the best available scientific information,’ says Matt Samuelson, Radar Ridge participant's committee chair. ‘This recently-completed independent scientific review provides further assurance that we are making decisions based on the most in-depth, accurate and complete data.’
The scientific studies, modeling results and the outcome of this peer review will be included in permitting documents now being prepared, according to the Grays Harbor PUD.