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Proposed Solar Farm In Central Washington Gets County Permit

Tom Banse

The biggest solar power plant proposed in the Northwest now has the green light from the Kittitas County Commission in central Washington. But an appeal from unhappy neighbors remains a stumbling block for the private developer. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.


In Ellensburg, Kittitas County Commissioners voted 3–0 Tuesday to approve the big alternative energy project, officially called the Teanaway Solar Reserve. It entails about 145 acres worth of solar panels to be placed on previously logged private forestland. Project spokesman Matt Steuerwalt says this is the final local permit the developers need.

Matt Steuerwalt: "It's been a year, which is a remarkably short time to get through your permitting process, but it didn't always feel like a short time. So we are pretty excited to have the permits in hand for what will be the Northwest's largest solar project once we get this thing going."

Steuerwalt says construction won't begin though until the county resolves an appeal filed last month by unhappy neighbors. The neighbors are asking for more extensive environmental review. The Yakama Indian Nation is also grumbling, in its case about being insufficiently consulted.

I'm Tom Banse reporting.

© Copyright 2010, Northwest News Network

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