Big Horn Wind Power Project Celebrates Partners for a Powerful Future

Energy industry leaders, community members and schoolchildren dedicate new wind farm

Click Here for a PDF version of this press release.

May 15, 2007

Energy leaders, schoolchildren and the community will gather in the rolling wheat fields and ranch lands of Bickleton, Wash., to dedicate the Northwest's newest wind farm. The Big Horn Wind Power Project is one of the region's largest wind farms and a model for sensitive land use and conservation. Along with more than 500 community members, a golden eagle, red-tailed hawk and several rehabilitated raptors used in educational programs at wind farms will join in the celebration.

Monday, May 21, 2007
10:30 a.m.: Speaker program begins
11:30 a.m.: Picnic lunch, wind turbine tours for the public and a special encounter with live raptors

Bickleton, Wash., a three-hour drive east of Portland, Ore.
See directions in Logistics section below.

With 133 turbines and a 200-megawatt (MW) capacity, the Big Horn Wind Power Project is one of the largest wind power developments in the state of Washington and the Columbia River Gorge region. Big Horn produces enough clean wind electricity to power about 60,000 homes each year. In addition, economic and environmental benefits include the following:

  • An infusion of jobs and economic activity to a rural town of 90 people
  • Wheat farmers and ranchers get a boost through land lease payments, while 98 percent of the leased land remains available for traditional uses.
  • PPM Energy sponsored the local high school shop class to build and place 250 bluebird boxes in the region. Bickleton is known as the "Bluebird Capital of the World," and the birds are a source of local pride and tourism.
  • 455 scenic acres are set aside as a long-term wildlife habitat conservation area

Speakers include:

  • Rachel Shimshak, Renewable Northwest Project
  • Ty Daul, PPM Energy
  • Allen Short, MSR Public Power Agency
  • Brian Silverstein, Bonneville Power Administration
  • U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington by special video message
  • Local and state representatives


  • Huge American flag mounted on an 80-meter-tall white wind turbine
  • Live raptors with Blue Mountain Wildlife and PPM staff. Birds that have been rehabilitated at the center play a major role in wildlife training for wind farm employees. Experts will be available to interview on this topic.
  • Bluebird boxes for two species of bluebirds thriving in and around the site through a joint effort by PPM Energy and the community of Bickleton. Interview community leaders and schoolchildren who built the bluebird boxes.
  • Learn about 455 scenic acres set aside to conserve wildlife habitat
  • Attendance is expected to top 500 people as the surrounding community and all school children in the county will be present.

From I-5 South in Portland, Ore. (about 155 miles or three hours' driving time)

  • At exit 301, take ramp RIGHT onto I-84 east toward The Dalles for 101.8 mi.
  • At exit 104, turn LEFT onto ramp toward US-97/Yakima/Bend for 0.3 mi.
  • Turn LEFT (north) onto US-97 bridge for 2.5 mi.
  • Entering Washington, turn RIGHT (east) onto SR-14 for 0.8 mi.
  • At junction, stay on SR-14 (east) for 32.1 mi.
  • Turn LEFT (north) onto Roosevelt Grade Road at milepost 134 toward Bickleton for 0.6 mi.
  • Roosevelt Grade Road becomes East Road. Stay to right, go up a steep hill (east) 5.9 mi.
  • After passing landfill on right, bear LEFT (west) onto Middle Road. Gravel begins for approx. 13 miles to destination.
  • Pass Schrantz Road, follow turns in Middle Road to intersection with Big Horn Road at approx. 11-mile point.
  • Turn LEFT (south) onto Big Horn Road for 2.8 mi.
  • Arrive at Big Horn Wind Power Project.
  • Media parking available within the operations center complex, where the event will take place.

Print-quality images of the Big Horn Wind Power Project and b-roll of the local school's bluebird box program are available in advance from Julie Yamamoto, CMD for PPM Energy, (503) 223-6794,