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Plans scrapped for wind farm on Steens Mountain

By Lee van der Voo
Sustainable Business Oregon

Vancouver-based Columbia Energy Partners and its financial affiliate CEP Funding have officially abandoned plans to develop two of three wind energy projects planned on private property in the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management Area, dubbed East Ridge and West Ridge.

The companies will push forward with development, construction and commercial operation of a third wind farm, the Echanis Project, located in nearby Harney County, outside the Steens Management area.

The decision follows pushback from environmental groups over the projects, including the Oregon Natural Desert Association and the Audubon Society of Portland, which have argued they would have harmed wildlife and recreation on the north end of the 50-mile mountain, which peaks at 9,733 feet above the Alvord Desert. The groups have locked horns with developers since 2008.

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