Northwest Renewable News

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Desert Claim Wind Project in governor’s hands now December 9, 2009

A recommendation to approve the 95-turbine Desert Claim Wind Power Project reached Gov. Chris Gregoire’s office on Friday.

Starting at that point, the governor has 60 days to approve or reject the estimated $330 million wind farm proposed for eight miles northwest of Ellensburg.

That makes the last day for Gregoire to rule on the wind farm Feb. 2.

Allen Fiksdal, manager of the state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, or EFSEC, said the council’s recommendation, in the form of an order and a draft site certification agreement, was taken to the governor’s office on Friday.

The order contains conditions that must be met by the French-owned firm of enXco USA Inc. to construct and operate the wind farm on 5,200 acres north of Smithson Road.

It also has provisions for dismantling the project under certain conditions.He said the governor also can send the order back to EFSEC for changes or reconsideration of specific issues.

The council conducted hearings on the project in July and met briefly in Ellensburg on Nov. 16 to take action on the order. The wind power development firm has proposed the project since January 2003.

Fiksdal said enXco and formal parties to the EFSEC project review process did not ask EFSEC for any reconsideration of the council’s recommendation after it was adopted Nov. 16.

Read it for yourself

For the full text of the EFSEC recommendation and other Desert Claim documents visit

MIKE JOHNSTON, Daily Record –


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