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Site Picked for Wind Turbine Farm

by Associated Press
Capital Press - May 3, 2002

ELLENSBURG, Wash. (AP) -- A national energy firm has begun preliminary work on a $100 million wind farm northwest of Ellensburg.

Zilkha Renewable Energy of Houston hopes to produce electricity from as many as 150 wind turbines by the end of 2003, project manager Chris Taylor said.

Zilkha has been researching in Kittitas County for more than a year had has opened an office in Ellensburg.

The company has lease options on land and environmental studies are under way, Taylor said.

The wind farm would occupy about 10 acres of leased land on ridges about 13 miles west of Ellensburg.

If the project is approved and built as planned, it will have the maximum capacity to generate 250 megawatts.

There are only two operating wind farms -- including one near the Washington-Oregon state line near Walla Walla -- that are larger, Taylor said.

Zilkha plans to submit a conditional-use permit application for the project in late spring or early summer to the Kittitas County Board of Adjustment and the county Planning Department.

The firm is now working on an environmental impact statement to assess how the wind farm will affect the land, wildlife and the local community.

The company hopes to have formal public hearings on the permit sometime in winter 2002-2003. If approved, construction could start in spring 2003.

by Associated Press
Site Picked for Wind Turbine Farm
Capital Press - May 3, 2002

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