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Panel: Kittitas County should ban solar panels on farmland

May 26, 2018

ELLENSBURG, Wash. (AP) — The Kittitas County Planning Commission has recommended prohibiting commercial solar facilities from prime agricultural farmland.

The Ellensburg Record reports that the planning commission will present its recommendation to county commissioners, who will make a final decision on new regulations.

Last year, the county in central Washington passed a moratorium on commercial solar projects after rejecting a proposed solar project. The moratorium will expire in July or when new rules are in place.

Meanwhile, a state energy panel is reviewing a proposal by Seattle-based Tuusso Energy to build five new photovoltaic facilities, encompassing about 200 acres of farmland outside Ellensburg. The Columbia Solar Projects is expected to generate about 25 megawatts of power from the five locations.

The state panel will make a recommendation to Gov. Jay Inslee, who has the final say.

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