Northwest Renewable News

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State OKs fewer wind turbines for Kittitas Valley Wind Power Project September 9, 2009

A state energy council, before the Labor Day weekend, formally approved the downsizing of the Kittitas Valley Wind Power Project proposed by Horizon Wind Energy in Kittitas County.

Major construction on the wind farm is planned to start in early spring 2010.

Allen Fiksdal, manager of the state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, or EFSEC, said Horizon officials indicate preliminary road work will take place this fall.

Approved Sept. 1 by EFSEC was reducing the maximum number of turbines around the edge of the $220 million to $250 million project from 65 to 52 at a site 12 miles northwest of Ellensburg.

Fiksdal also said approved were approximate locations for the fewer turbines. The project continues to have a maximum generation capacity of 100 megawatts.

He said EFSEC OK’d a change in the location of the wind farm’s operations and maintenance facility to a point farther away from U.S. Highway 97, thus lessening its visual impact. The project plans turbines on ridges on both sides of the highway.

Fiksdal said the project area, with the changes, goes down from about 5,600 acres to 5,416 acres.

The updated turbine locations and other project documents are available online at: http://www.efsec.wa.gov, click on Kittitas Valley Wind Power Project. Changes are under “Exhibit no. 1.”

Horizon officials have indicated that the type of turbines to be used generate more power and allow the project to maintain its maximum 100-megawatt operational goal with fewer turbines.

EFSEC is allowing the company to put up turbines with towers at a maximum 410 feet, from tip of a vertically extended turbine blade to the ground.

Minimum setbacks are to be the distance equal to four times the height from blade tip to the ground.

MIKE JOHNSTON, Daily Record http://www.kvnews.com/articles/2009/09/09/news/doc4aa7e837570b4081127978.txt

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