Library from Washington

Whose stimulus? Buy local with tax dollars

But what are our tax dollars buying? In Utah, $79 million is being spent on improving drinking water. School districts in Georgia are receiving $660 million. Nebraska received $1 million to maintain national wildlife refuges. But what about Washington? In particular, will our tax dollars help build the Desert Claim Wind Power Project in Kittitas County?
30 Apr 2009

Desert Claim wind farm hearings coming

Formal adjudicative hearings by the state to examine the proposed Desert Claim Wind Power Project will likely begin the week of July 13 in Ellensburg, according to a tentative scheduled submitted last week. The schedule, including deadlines for pre-filed testimony and rebuttal of that testimony, was suggested to the state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, or EFSEC, during the council's day of meetings conducted Thursday in Ellensburg on the Desert Claim project.
27 Apr 2009

Renewable energy tax break clears key panel

A "skinnied-down" bill that would provide a tax break to manufacturers of solar, wind and other renewable energy equipment who locate in Clark County cleared a major hurdle Friday as the Legislature rushed toward adjournment. House Bill 2130, sponsored by Rep. Tim Probst, D-Vancouver, passed the Senate Ways and Means Committee Friday morning in a version far different from that of the original bill.
24 Apr 2009

Five file for wind farm hearings

Five entities, including Kittitas County government, have filed with a state energy council to have a formal say in the coming hearings to review the Desert Claim Wind Power Project planned for eight miles northwest of Ellensburg. ...The status gives parties the opportunity to support, oppose or propose modifications to the proposed 95-turbine wind farm sought by enXco Inc.
21 Apr 2009

Kittitas county will be wind farm 'intervenor'

Kittitas County commissioners on Monday agreed to become an intervenor in the state's formal process to review the 95-turbine Desert Claim wind farm planned for eight miles northwest of Ellensburg. Gaining intervenor status from the state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, or EFSEC, means the county wants the right to cross examine expert witnesses and give its own expert testimony.
8 Apr 2009

Desert Claim wind farm hearing process begins

Preliminary steps have begun in the state's formal evaluation of the Desert Claim Wind Power Project, a 95-turbine wind farm proposed for eight miles northwest of Ellensburg. The state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, or EFSEC, announced it has set April 17 as the deadline for interested parties to file petitions to have EFSEC formally recognize them as "intervenors" in the coming adjudication proceedings.
1 Apr 2009

FERC needs to prod BPA into action on wind farm connections: IPPs

When it comes to integrating wind generation into the Pacific Northwest power grid, one of the major problems has been the absence of an organized market in the region, according to panelists at a conference. "We have an aversion to markets in the Pacific Northwest," said Robert Kahn of the Northwest and Intermountain Power Producers Coalition, which represents independent producers in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Utah.
2 Mar 2009

Puget wind power may go south

Puget Energy, Washington's largest utility, has agreed to sell virtually all the green power produced by its wind farms for the next two years to Southern California Edison. The deal, coming right after Puget was sold to an international investor group, could fuel some grumbling: The Australians are now wholesaling Puget's clean energy to the Californians. "People who believe you can follow the green electron down the line" may bristle at the thought of selling that power out of state, says Robert McCullough, a Portland energy consultant. But in fact,
22 Feb 2009

Wind farm decision: overrule Kittitas County? State energy council, governor will decide

One of the decisions faced by state officials as they consider the revised Desert Claim Wind Power Project is whether to overrule Kittitas County government's April 2005 rejection of an older version of the wind farm planned for eight miles north of Ellensburg. One could say the Desert Claim project, the state and the county have a "history" in regard to the project.
17 Feb 2009

Time to tweak state's renewable energy law

I-937 requires that large electric utilities increase their use of renewable energy sources to account for at least 15 percent of their power by 2020. Sure, in an era of climate change fears, and a push for alternative energy supplies to wean us from our dependence on foreign sources it sounded like a step in the right direction. But I-937 had some serious and expensive flaws and the Legislature - with the waiting period for tinkering with an initiative over - is looking at ways to fix those problems.
12 Feb 2009

Wind farm seeks state OK; enXco adds turbines, heads back to EFSEC

Representatives from enXco hope their reconfigured Desert Claim Wind Farm, planned for 5,200 acres about 8 miles northwest of Ellensburg will get the go-ahead from the state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC). Desert Claim Project Director David Steeb said enXco would submit its revised application for the $330 million, 95-turbine wind farm to EFSEC on Friday.
5 Feb 2009

16 bills seek to amend alternative-energy initiative approved by voters

Renewable energy has muscled its way onto the 2009 Legislature's agenda. As of Wednesday, lawmakers had introduced 16 bills to amend Initiative 937, the voter-approved 2006 measure that requires utilities to ramp up their purchase of solar, wind and geothermal energy beginning in 2012. The reason for the intense interest: This is the first session since its passage that the law can be amended by a simple majority vote.
4 Feb 2009

Wind farm project may expand; Company wants to lease state trust land in the Columbia River Gorge

A Bingen-based company that hopes to build a 70-megawatt wind farm on a backcountry ridge near Underwood has asked the state to explore the expansion of the project north onto 2,560 acres of state trust land. The Saddleback Wind Project would rise on logged-over industrial lands behind Underwood Mountain, just outside the north boundary of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.
3 Feb 2009

No KVWPP wind farm this year

Local residents this year won't see wind farm towers going into the sky 12 miles northwest of Ellensburg, although site preparation work on the ground for the Kittitas Valley Wind Power Project may start this fall. ...Horizon also is seeking from Kittitas County right-of-way use for power lines from the wind farm.
24 Jan 2009

Colvilles explore wind energy

A Native American tribe in northeastern Washington is partnering with a California company to explore the potential for wind energy there. Clipper Windpower of Carpinteria, Calif, placed three wind gauges on the Confederated Tribes of the Colville reservation in July. Peter Stricker, a Clipper vice president, said Thursday that wind testing would continue until about midyear.
16 Jan 2009

Wind farm company to pay county $110K

Kittitas County commissioners approved an agreement on Tuesday with a wind energy company that has the firm paying Kittitas County for the staff work required to deal with the development of its wind farm. Invenergy Wind North America LLC, through its subsidiary Vantage Wind Energy LLC, will pay the county $110,000 for handling county requirements for the planned 69-turbine wind farm proposed.
4 Dec 2008

Avista to put wind farm on hold

Avista Corp. will delay building a wind farm south of Reardan by at least two years, citing the high cost of the wind turbines. "This stuff is really expensive," said Hugh Imhof, a spokesman for the Spokane-based utility. "Why build a $125 million wind farm if we don't need it for another two years?"
30 Nov 2008
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