Articles filed under General from Washington

Wind energy firm waiting for new zone

Officials of an international wind-energy company won't share details just yet of their proposed wind farm east of Ellensburg, but said they are "very interested" in a Kittitas County plan to create a zone on the county's east end designated as compatible for wind farm development. Michael Logsdon, director of business development for Invenergy Wind LLC in the Pacific Northwest, earlier this week said he may be able to announce more about the project once the county approves the new zone. Chicago-based Invenergy has been studying the site more than 20 miles east of Ellensburg since fall 2004. Logsdon acknowledged the site is within the proposed zone. "The county is considering to rezone the area to allow wind farms through a more streamlined process," said Logsdon. "We're very interested in the zone and are waiting for the outcome." County planning officials, who met with Invenergy representatives May 21, said the company is looking at a wind farm with about 55 turbines.
9 Jun 2007

New capacity attracts outsiders

As the Oregon Renewable Energy Act made its way through the Legislature last month, lawmakers emphasized its potential to create homegrown, clean sources of electricity. Yet, even as Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed the bill into law Wednesday, the emerging reality defied the vision of a lone state moving toward energy self-sufficiency. Oregon wind farms, expected to dominate the state's renewable power expansion, are in the sights of utilities throughout the West. Electricity buyers in California are showing interest in power generated by a wind farm under construction in Sherman County, and already California utilities have snagged power from a Washington project. And the electricity from a project under development in Oregon's Union County is headed for Idaho.
7 Jun 2007

County requires wind farm application

Kittitas County may be on a collision course with a state council order regarding the county's process that reviews and permits wind farms. County officials continue to require the Desert Claim Wind Power Project to file a complete application with the county for a 90-turbine wind farm despite a May 8 order by the state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council that ruled that filing an application with the county is not necessary. "The county maintains that EFSEC does not have the legal authority to rule that the county's rules and regulations can be ignored," said Darryl Piercy, director of the county Community Development Services Department.
6 Jun 2007

Urge governor to deny EFSEC recommendation

I encourage the governor to just say "no" to this steamrolling of our duly elected county officials and let all who would have business in this state and county abide by the democratic process. If those that want winds farms in this area don't like the ruling of the county commissions, throw them out of office through the democratic process. Don't be a party to perpetrating this dangerous precedent upon the citizens of this state by nullifying our most sacred treasure: our right to vote and to have our vote count.
27 May 2007

Recent rulings aid “Alternatives”… and screw the rest of us?

So you take a technology (commercial wind power generation) that generates electricity intermittently/inefficiently, and cannot be stored for use when needed. Next you force consumers to buy it (with the assistance of their tax dollars). Because there is still not enough money there to make it economically viable, due to added grid integration costs, you raise consumer power rates. AND then, after creating this mandated over-priced market for your product, you inform everyone of the need to spend billions of dollars more to transport the product to the consumers. Yeah, I would buy some lobbyists too. The final insult... that the product being force-fed to everyone will not reduce green house gas emissions or reduce dependence on foreign oil. In fact, in some places this has been tried, it has increased it.
12 May 2007

EFSEC: Desert Claim Wind Power Project doesn’t require county approval

The proposed Desert Claim Wind Power Project does not have to seek approval from the Kittitas County government, a state council decided Tuesday. By a vote of 5-1, the state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council decided the project does not have to file an application with the county because of the precedent set by an earlier EFSEC decision regarding the separate Kittitas Valley Wind Power Project, according to council chairman Jim Luce.
10 May 2007

Governor gets wind farm recommendation

Gov. Chris Gregoire, starting Wednesday, has 60 days to make a final decision on whether to approve the 65-turbine Kittitas Valley Wind Power Project, a wind farm proposed for 12 miles northwest of Ellensburg. The governor's office at 3 p.m. Wednesday received formal documents from the state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council that recommended approval of the $150 million project planned by Houston-based Horizon Wind Energy for ridge tops on both sides of state Highway 97.
4 May 2007

EFSEC decides wind farm issue on Tuesday

The state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council will meet 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in Olympia to decide whether the Desert Claim Wind Power Project must first come before Kittitas County officials for review before it can be considered by the state council.
10 Apr 2007

Enxco claims wind farm support in poll

A survey commissioned by a wind-power development company indicates 78 percent of 300 Kittitas County voters responding to the poll say they support the development of wind farms within the county. French-owned EnXco USA Inc. issued the results of the survey Thursday as the state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council continues to consider approving EnXco's proposed Desert Claim Wind Power Project, a 90-turbine, 180-megawatt wind farm planned for eight miles north of Ellensburg.
10 Apr 2007

County: State must rethink wind farm decision

Kittitas County commissioners believe a state council erred on March 27 in recommending approval of the Kittitas Valley Wind Power Project and claims the action violates state law by overruling the county's previous denial of the 65-turbine project. Commissioners on Monday directed Deputy Prosecutor Jim Hurson to file a petition with the state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council calling on the seven-member council to reconsider its 6-1 vote on the wind farm planned for 12 miles northwest of Ellensburg on ridges on both sides of U.S. Highway 97.
5 Apr 2007

State slowly setting its own emissions goals

As the U.S. Supreme Court took decisive action Monday on the matter of planet-warming emissions, a proposed law in Washington to reduce carbon dioxide pollution continued to creep along, scarred and slightly mangled from multiple revisions. In its original form, the bill would have set state goals for cutting greenhouse gases, created limits for how much carbon dioxide new power plants could release, created a state climate office and required other actions to reduce pollution that's contributing to climate change. Since then, the legislation has morphed into a Franken-bill with new rules tacked onto it and major rewrites. It was then patched together into something approximating its original form and on Monday, it was tacked onto another piece of legislation to help ensure its survival. "Trying to figure out how to stop global warming is complex," said Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish. "We know it's a problem. How do we deal with it? There are various schools of thought."
3 Apr 2007

Kittitas County overruled on wind farm construction

A state agency has recommended approval for construction of a wind farm 12 miles northwest of Ellensburg, overriding earlier rejections made by county officials. The decision of the state's Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council brings Horizon Wind Energy, the project's developer, closer to victory in a five-year battle with Kittitas County citizens and officials who argue the Kittitas Valley Wind Power Project has negative environmental and visual impacts on neighboring residential areas.
28 Mar 2007

Project’s second phase to add 50 turbines

Fifty additional wind turbines will join the 78 now being built in northeast Columbia County. The new project will be known as Marengo Project Phase II, and construction may begin in June, Columbia County Planner Clark Posey said this morning. Like the Marengo I project, the new phase will be built by Blue Sky Wind LLC, an affiliate of Renewable Energy Systems, Ltd. The 90 megawatts of electricity anticipated from Phase II will be transmitted over lines owned by PacifiCorp, Posey said. Puget Sound Energy owns 83 turbines capable of generating150 megawatts of electricity. That project, the Hopkins Ridge Project, was completed at the end of 2005. Renewable Energy Systems also developed the Hopkins Ridge Project. When the Marengo II project is complete, there will be 211 wind turbines in Columbia County. A public information meeting is set for 7 p.m. April 11 at the Seneca Activity Center, Posey said.
28 Mar 2007

Power officials debate wind use

Wind energy will play a growing role in meeting the rising power needs of the Northwest, but it isn't controllable and it needs total backup by traditional sources such as hydroelectric dams, according to a report released Wednesday by energy specialists. The six-month study looked at how to integrate wind power into the region's power system. While wind energy sounds attractive, it can be fickle, the specialists said. Sometimes it blows, sometimes it doesn't. And while wind is free, they said getting its energy from a rural wind farm to an urban wall socket isn't.
22 Mar 2007

Wind farm decision set for March 27

The state agency that decides on large, energy-producing projects statewide will come to Ellensburg on March 27 take a vote on the Kittitas Valley Wind Power Project, and then send this in the form of a recommended order to Gov. Chris Gregoire who must make the final decision within 60 days. The seven-member state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, or EFSEC, met Tuesday in Olympia and set the evening of March 27 at the Kittitas County Fairgrounds as the date it will vote on adopting the order, according to Allen Fiksdal, EFSEC manager. He said EFSEC's administrative law judge, attorney Adam Torem, is in the process of finalizing the order upon which EFSEC members will vote. "Right now the council is set on the date - March 27 - we now have to confirm the time and the location," Fiksdal said.
15 Mar 2007

EFSEC needs more time

A state agency on Tuesday agreed it needed more time to work on a document that outlines a proposed decision on the controversial Kittitas Valley Wind Power Project and declared it would likely meet in Ellensburg in the first two weeks of March to take a vote on the document. The state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, or EFSEC, meeting in Olympia, agreed more time was needed to complete a draft of a proposed order, according to EFSEC Manager Allen Fiksdal. That order, voted upon at the Ellensburg meeting, will be its recommendation to Gov. Chris Gregoire on the 65-turbine wind farm proposed for 12 miles northwest of Ellensburg on both sides of U.S. Highway 97. The state council earlier met in closed-door sessions in Olympia on Jan. 25, Dec. 5, 6 and 12 in attempts to form a recommendation on the wind farm proposed by Houston-based Horizon Wind Energy. Kittitas County officials last year agreed to reject the project. Horizon, the county and others presented their case before EFSEC in several hearings in September. Horizon is not only asking EFSEC to approve the project, but to pre-empt or lay aside the county’s decision to reject it. The company wants EFSEC to make its own decision on whether the project is compatible with county land-use policies, rules and zoning. Once the governor receives the recommendation, Gregoire has 60 days to make the final decision.
15 Feb 2007

Towers may lead to wind farming

A wind farm developer wants to explore the potential for power generation in the hills north of Zillah. Columbia Energy Partners of Vancouver, Wash., wants to build two meteorological towers in the Rattlesnake Hills area to determine if there’s enough wind to generate electricity. While large-scale wind farms are already established in Klickitat and Kittitas counties, Yakima County has yet to see a turbine.
15 Feb 2007

EFSEC issues Final Environmental Impact Statement on proposed wind farm

The Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC), an Olympia, Wash.-based licensing agency for nonhydro energy projects, has issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS) for the proposed Kittitas Valley Wind Power Project. All wind farm requests in Washington state must be approved by the EFSEC before construction can begin. Sagebrush Power Partners LLC, a subsidiary of Houston-based Horizon Wind Energy, is proposing the Kittitas Wind Power Project. According to the EFSEC, Sagebrush is requesting to build a 195 MW wind farm comprising of 65 turbines. The project would be located on approximately 108 acres of land on either side of Highway 97 - halfway between Ellensburg and Cle Elum, Wash.
13 Feb 2007
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