Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility and Renewable Energy Center
Due to the heightened level of caution regarding Coronavirus, the Renewable Energy Center will remain closed for the duration of 2020, however visitors can continue to explore the outdoor exhibits.
Recreation at Wild Horse with a current Recreation Access Permit will be allowed starting May 5th. Permits can be filled out online.
The Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility and Renewable Energy Center is located 16 miles east of Ellensburg in central Washington.
The wind turbines at Wild Horse can generate up to 273 megawatts (MW) of electricity. The solar array, 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.
The Renewable Energy Center
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 visitors with 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.
Take a tour, or explore the educational displays 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.
Open April 1 - October 31, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Nov. 1 - March 31
Weather permitting, free guided tours depart daily, from April through October 31, 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 60 minute walking tour that explores the solar array, wind turbine blade, turbine generator and gearbox, and lets you look inside the base of an active wind turbine!
- Closed-toed shoes are REQUIRED.
- The tour covers a 1/2 mile on gravel trails. Tour participants with mobility issues can arrange vehicle access to the base of the turbine.
- Dress for the weather. Wind speeds average 17 mph and it is typically cooler 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 canceled or modified at any time due to inclement weather, high winds or any unsafe conditions.
Presentations are available by appointment. The presentation covers renewable technology, economics, construction and siting, and takes 45 - 60 minutes.
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 and community groups. It can also be reserved for meetings and retreats. Large events such as weddings cannot be accommodated.
For more details, please read our Wild Horse Conference Room Amenities.
2020 Renewable Energy Center Events
Due to the heightened level of caution regarding Coronavirus, all events have been cancelled. The Renewable Energy Center is closed to the public, however visitors can continue to explore the outdoor exhibits.
Wild Horse Behind the Scenes Tour: TBD September and 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. Email at email@example.com for more information.
Summer Kid’s Activities: Every other Saturday- TBD
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, and more. See our Facebook events for more details on each date.
August 12th: Perseid Meteor Shower
Looking for a laid back location for star gazing and watching the Perseid Meteor Shower? The Renewable Energy Center will be open from 7pm-12pm with extra tours, snacks, and kid’s activities on August 12th. Bring a chair and stake out your spot on the patio. Even in the summer you should prepare for wind and cold temperatures.
RSVP Required firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Kid’s Activities: 8:00-9:30pm
- Twilight Turbine Tour: 7:30 & 8:00pm
- Star Gazing: 9:30pm-12:00am
Sunset at 8:16pm. In order to avoid disrupting the star gazing with your headlights, please plan on arriving by 9:00pm.
Hunter’s Breakfast: October 23rd from 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.
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 1 and November 30.
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.
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 31 in order to be eligible 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.
FREE Hunter Breakfast
Please join PSE and the Kittitas County Field & Stream Club at the Wild Horse Renewable Energy Center from 7 a.m. - 10 a.m. the Friday before the Modern Firearm General Elk Season for a free hunter breakfast!
Lands within the Wild Horse Wind Facility are also open to non-hunting recreational activities such as hiking, birdwatching and horseback riding from April 1 – November 30 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.
Want to know more? Read up with the resources listed below.
- American Wind Energy Association State wind industry fact sheets, U.S. Annual Market Reports, webinars, wildlife, permitting, and more.
- Renewable Northwest Projects Map View renewable energy facilities on a map, throughout WA, OR, ID, and MT, with information about capacity, owner, and stage of construction.
- Danish Wind Industry Association An in-depth look into generators, transmission, design, weather, manufacturing, and the grid.
- Vestas: Information on current Vestas wind turbine models and technology.
- Vestas E-Learning: Short cartoons about the wind-energy industry, construction of components, and the science behind the technology.
- Department of Energy Solar and wind information, renewables for your home, and industry updates.
- Wind Energy Education and Training Programs Wind energy education and training programs in the United States at community colleges, universities, and other institutions.
- U.S. Wind Speed Maps Color coded wind speed maps for each state.
- Wind Energy Curricula and Teaching Materials Curriculum resource list including KidWind, 4H, PBS, universities, and more.
- Solar Washington Information on solar in Washington for homeowners and businesses.
- Department of Energy Education Resources Student educational resources.