Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility &
Renewable Energy Center

REC | Tours | Presentations | Conference Room | Events
Recreation | Hunting | Resources
Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility

The Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility and Renewable Energy Center is located 16 miles east of Ellensburg in Central Washington.

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The wind turbines at Wild Horse have the capacity to generate up to 273 megawatts (MW) of electricity. The solar-power installation, one of the Northwest's largest, can generate up to 502 kilowatts of electricity. Puget Sound Energy’s Renewable Energy Center offers a first-hand look at how these elements are turned into electricity.

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Photos of the Wild Horse Wind Facility

The Renewable Energy Center

Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility

The wind and sun of Kittitas County are a tremendous natural resource for producing clean, renewable energy. Set high on a ridge, the Renewable Energy Center provides an up-close look at the facility’s 149 wind turbines, as well as 360 degree views of Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, Mount Hood, and the Columbia River Basin.

Explore the diverse educational displays at the Renewable Energy Center to learn more about wind and solar technology, as well as the area's unique natural history. Outdoor trails lead to a solar array, blade, turbine generator, gearbox, and additional displays.

Hours

Open April 1-Nov. 15, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Closed Nov. 16-March 31
Tours can be scheduled by appointment during the off-season, dependent on staff availability
or weather, and can be canceled at any time. Call 509-925-3131 to schedule a tour during
the off-season.

Tours

Weather permitting, free guided tours depart daily, April through November 15th from the Renewable Energy Center at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. No reservation is needed for these tours. To schedule a separate, group tour of Wild Horse, please call 509-964-7815.

Join us for a 45-60 minute walking tour that explores the 52 kw solar array, wind turbine blade, turbine generator, gearbox, and lets you take a look inside the base of an active wind turbine!

  • Please wear closed-toed shoes.
  • Tour covers 1/3 of a mile on gravel trails. Tour participants with mobility issues can arrange vehicle access to the base of the turbine with site staff.
  • Dress for the weather. Wind speeds average 17 mph, and it is typically 10 degrees colder on the ridge.
  • All participants must sign a liability form. Minors must have the liability form signed by a parent or guardian to participate in the tour.
  • Tours can be cancelled at any time due to inclement weather, high winds, or any unsafe conditions.

If you are interested in a tour, please review the tour liability form and tour checklist for a complete list of rules.

Presentations

Presentations are also offered to groups by appointment. The presentation can last anywhere from 45-60 minutes depending on content and audience questions. A shorter presentation is available for elementary age students. The presentation will cover wind and solar technology, PSE wind resources, changes in the industry, economics, and construction.

Conference Room

Wild Horse Conference room

The center features a conference facility with a meeting room accommodating 48 people. This area is used for wind and solar presentations to visiting schools, businesses, clubs, and community groups. It can also be reserved for meetings, retreats, and fundraisers. Because the exhibit area is open to the public for most of the day, large events such as weddings cannot be accommodated.

For more details, please read about our Conference Room Rules and Accommodations.

Events

Check back for schedules as events approach

April 1st: 2017 Kick Off & Earth Month Celebration. 9:00-4:00pm

Join us in celebrating the opening of our 10th season and the start of Earth Month! Enjoy snacks, coffee, nature walks, kid's activities, free native plants, energy effidiency info, and awesome prizes!

 

Kickoff Schedule

April 29th: Wildflower and Wind Power Walk

Explore the vast array of shrub steppe wildflowers at the Wild Horse Wind Facility. Enjoy the guided wildflower walks, presentations, displays, and wind turbine tours. Wildflower Walks will be offered mid-week, by appointment, April through May. RSVP Required: wildhorse@pse.com

Schedule

May 13th: Wildflower and Wind Power Walk

Explore the vast array of shrub steppe wildflowers at the Wild Horse Wind Facility. Enjoy the guided wildflower walks, presentations, displays, and wind turbine tours. In honor of Mother’s Day weekend we will have special treats for any mom’s attending! Wildflower Walks will be offered mid-week, by appointment, April through May. RSVP Required: wildhorse@pse.com

Schedule

May 13th: Get Intimate with the Shrub Steppe: Yakima River Canyon. 9am-1pm

Join us for a day on the Yakima River with the Kittitas Environmental Education Network learning about the diverse shrub steppe landscape of Central Washington. Enjoy the educational booths and activities at the trail head, then sign up for a guided field trip to explore the wildlife, plants, and geology of Umtanum Canyon. http://www.ycic.org/get-intimate-with-the-shrub-steppe

May 12-14th: Yakima River Canyon Bird Fest

In cooperation with the Yakima River Canyon Bird Fest we will by offering an additional Wildflower and Wind Power Walk at Wild Horse on May 14th. Explore the diverse shrub steppe wildflowers at the Wild Horse Wind Facility on a guided walk. Registration is required. Go to http://www.ycic.org/yrc-bird-fest-registration for the full schedule and registration.

Schedule

April 30th: Run Like the Wind

Join us for Run Like the Wind, for 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon races, and a free kid's dash. Run the trails and roads navigating the mountains and valleys of the Wild Horse Wind Facility. These races will be challenging, with elevation gain and tough trails, but with gorgeous with views of Mt. Rainier, the Cascades, and the Columbia Basin. Join a guided tour of the wind farm before or after your race, to see the awesome power of the wind. Enjoy live music by The Chance Brothers Band, beer from Iron Horse Brewery and great food at the finish line.

Volunteers will receive a t-shirt, beer, and lunch on race day. You can also get free entry to the race if you volunteer for course marking or set-up. Sign up to race or volunteer at www.run-like-the-wind.com

Picnic in the Pines: May/June TBD 10am-12pm

A family friendly hike through a Ponderosa Pine forest where kids will discover the plants and animals of the shrub steppe, and explore the history hidden in this old pine grove. Bring a sack lunch and enjoy! Find more details under Events at www.facebook.com/wildhorseREC

Wild Horse Behind the Scenes Tour: TBD July/August and September/October

Join us on a behind the scenes extended tour exploring wind technology, history, geology, and the shrub steppe. This tour will take you through our Wind 101 presentation and tour, to the top of the mountain to our 450 kw solar array, on a hike through an old Ponderosa forest, and a look into the Operations & Maintenance Building Shop for an in-depth look at how a wind facility is designed and operated. Space is limited. RSVP via email at wildhorse@pse.com wildhorse@pse.com

Summer Kid’s Activities: 1:00-2:00pm, June 24th, July 8th & 22nd, and August 5th & 19th

Need something to keep the kid’s busy this summer break? Join us for our summer activity series for fun projects like: Sail Cars, Wind Turbine Watercolor, Solar Ovens, Weather Stations, Petroglyphs, Sail Boats, and more. See our Facebook events for more details on each date.

Perseid Star Party: August 12th

Looking for a laid back location for star gazing and watching the Perseid Meteor Shower? The Renewable Energy Center will be open after hours with extra tours, snacks, and kid’s activities. Bring a chair and stake out your spot on the patio. In order to avoid disrupting the star gazing with your headlights, please plan on arriving by 9:30pm. Note: Due to the moonrise being early in the night, meteor viewing conditions are not ideal, but we plan on having a great night star gazing anyway! RSVP Required: wildhorse@pse.com

Schedule

Hunter’s Breakfast: Friday October 27th 7:00-10:00 am

Enjoy a free breakfast and learn about the Hunting and Recreation program at Wild Horse.

Please note, Access Permits for Hunting are no longer issued at the Renewable Energy Center. They are now available online through the WDFW Hunt by Reservation program, with some seasons being a limited to 50 people a day with advance online registration.

 

Hunting

The Wild Horse Wind Facility is located in Game Management Unit (GMU) 329 in eastern Kittitas County. PSE allows public hunting at Wild Horse during all legal hunting seasons that fall between April 1st – November 30th.

HUNTING RESERVATION PERMITS ARE REQUIRED for hunting within the wind facility boundary. Hunting reservation permits are issued online only through WDFW's Hunt by Reservation Program. Hunting permits are no longer issued at the Wild Horse Renewable Energy Center (visitor center). Permits, maps, and rules are all available online.



NEW IN 2016!

A limited number of hunting reservation permits will be issued per day during the Modern Firearm General Elk Season in an effort to improve the overall safety and quality of hunting during this busy season. The number of permits issued each year during this 9 day season will be determined in coordination with WDFW and will allow for the maximum hunting opportunity while still providing for safety and quality of hunting.

Reserve a hunting reservation permit

For more information about hunting at Wild Horse please call 509-786-1923 ext. 109 or 509-964-7813.

Disabled Hunters

PSE offers special access opportunities to hunters with lower extremity mobility disabilities through a limited permit drawing administered by WDFW's Road Access Entry Program. If drawn for a permit, hunters will be issued a special use permit by PSE allowing access to drive into a designated closed or gated area where other hunters must walk in. Application submissions for the drawing begin the first week of June and must be submitted to WDFW by July 31st in order to be eligible for the drawing.

Apply for the drawing

If not drawn for special access, disabled hunters must apply for a hunting reservation permit though WDFW's Hunt by Reservation Program if they wish to still hunt at Wild Horse and MUST follow the same rules as non-disabled hunters.

For more information about disabled hunting opportunities at Wild Horse please call 360-902-2349 or 509-964-7813.

FREE Hunter Breakfast

Please join PSE and the Kittitas County Field & Stream Club at the Wild Horse Renewable Energy Center from 7:00am-10:00am the Friday before the Modern Firearm General Elk Season for a free hunter breakfast!

Recreation (non-Hunting)

Lands within the Wild Horse Wind Facility are also open to non-hunting recreational activities such as hiking, birdwatching, and horseback riding from April 1st – November 30th by written
permission only
.

 

 

RECREATION ACCESS PERMITS ARE REQUIRED for public recreation within the wind facility boundary. Recreation access permits are available online or you can pick up a permit at the Wild Horse Renewable Energy Center.

Print out a recreation access permit online

For more information about non-hunting recreation at Wild Horse please call 509-964-7813 or
509-964-7815.

Resources

Want to know more? Read up with the resources listed.