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Tri-Cities trades unions reach deal to build Horse Heaven

The following is from Laborers Local 348:

RICHLAND, Wash. (June 9, 2022) — After much work and collaboration, the Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 348 on Wednesday announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Horse Heaven Clean Energy Center has been reached between Scout Clean Energy and the local Tri-Cities union crafts responsible for building clean energy projects and putting people to work.

The agreement, which ensures the general contractor awarded the construction of the 1150-megawatt wind, solar and battery facility will sign a project labor agreement, is executed between Scout Clean Energy and the local affiliates of United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBC), International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers, Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

“It is vital that our members are part of the equitable energy transition,” said Francisco Elguezabel, Business Manager/Secretary-Treasurer, LIUNA Local 348. “With this agreement, our members will be able to build something that will benefit our community for many years to come and be a part of the energy future. We appreciate the efforts that Scout Clean Energy has taken to recognize this importance and we look forward to putting our people to work for a multi-year project.”

The Horse Heaven Clean Energy Center is estimated to create nearly 1,000 jobs for skilled trades workers during construction, according to an economic impact assessment conducted by Tetra Tech. The project will become a substantial source of new revenue for Benton and Franklin County, generating an estimated $260 million in new revenues over the life of the project, helping to fund local schools, roads, hospitals, and emergency services.

The project will also help Washington state meet its clean energy transition goals, bring needed power generation, and make our local power infrastructure more resilient — all of which help our region avoid the growing threat of brownouts or blackouts. Washington’s communities and overall economy depends on this critical infrastructure, now more than ever, to keep our lights on and our families safe.

“We are proud that the Horse Heaven Clean Energy Center will be built by the hardworking and highly skilled local workforce of the Tri-Cities and Central Washington,” said Senior Project Manager Dave Kobus. “We are fortunate to have such great labor partners and look forward to putting a lot of people to work.”

Wednesday’s announcement follows the Washington state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council’s (EFSEC) recent order finding the proposed Horse Heaven Clean Energy Center site consistent with land use regulations. EFSEC is expected to issue a draft environmental impact statement on the project this spring.

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