County will fight to protect windmill setback rule

By on Thursday, August 4th, 2022 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

UMATILLA COUNTY – Umatilla County requires a separation of at least two miles between residences and windmill towers. The Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council says it will not recognize that setback as it considers the proposed Nolin Hills energy project west of Pendleton. Capital Power, the windmill project developer, has said it will honor that setback.

Board of Commissioners Chairman John Shafer said that the county is going to contest EFSC’s refusal to honor the county’s setback.

“This would set a precedent that if we allow that to happen, in the future EFSC would allow a windmill to be closer than the two-mile setback,” Shafer said. “We are going to file a contested case on that.”

Shafer said the county will hire outside counsel to challenge EFSC.