Wind Power A Washington Tourist Hot Spot

The Pacific Northwest corner of the United States is well known for its scenery and nature-focused tourist spots. Slightly less well known, however, is that there are several renewable energy plants that also double as tourist destinations.

Among them is the Bonneville Dam, a popular destination for locals found in the Columbia River Gorge. The facility offers tours of the plant where observers can check out some of the generators that provide the area with over a gigawatt of electricity. A lesser known green destination is located in central Washington, near Ellensburg. Puget Sound Energy’s (PSE)  Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility, has a opened a portion of its operations to the public which is called  the Wild Horse Renewable Energy Center. The center  is open to the public seven days a week from April through November (weather permitting). Guided tours are offered and private tours are available by appointment.

image via PSE

The center offers informational displays as well as guided hikes that lead past some of the facility’s 149 operating wind turbines as well as a large solar power array consisting of over 2700 solar panels.

PSE owns about 67% of the property; the rest is leased from the state of Washington and is open to public recreation.

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