AP NEWS

Washington governor OK’s solar project in Kittitas County

October 18, 2018

ELLENSBURG, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has approved a new solar energy project in central Washington.

Seattle-based Tuusso Energy sought a permit from the state to build photovoltaic facilities at five locations encompassing about 200 acres of farmland in Kittitas County.

The Columbia Solar project is expected to generate about 25 megawatts of power, or enough to power about 5,000 homes.

The Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council voted in July 5-1 to recommend the project to the governor.

Inslee said in a statement Wednesday that he believes the council considered environmental and land use issues. He noted the developer has committed to ensuring the sites can be returned to agricultural use at the end.

Supporters said the solar farm would provide more renewable energy in the state. Those opposed worried about covering agricultural land with solar panels and potentially undermining the crops and livestock that underpin the local economy.