Approval Sought for 180 MW Wind Farm

Desert Claim Wind Power LLC, a subsidiary of enXco, submitted an application to Kittitas County earlier this year for permits to build and operate a 180 MW wind farm in the Reecer Creek area approximately 8 miles north of Ellensburg.

Ellensburg, Washington – April 7, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The Desert Claim project consists of 120 wind turbines located across 5,237 acres owned by eight private landowners. Meteorological data gathered on site from the past two years confirms that there is a sufficient commercial wind resource for power generation. The Desert Claim wind farm site is within a major cross-state electric transmission corridor, linking the hydroelectric power production of the Columbia River with the large power consumer market of Western Washington. Numerous high-voltage transmission lines either directly cross or are located adjacent to the Desert Claim site. All existing land uses on the Desert Claim site-including grazing, pasture, feed crop production, and rural residential development-would continue. The Desert Claim project promotes conservation of the area’s rural character by supporting existing and traditional uses. “We have spent two years working in Kittitas County to develop the foundation for a viable wind energy project,” said David Steeb, Project Director for Desert Claim. “This site has wind for generation, access to the regional electric power grid, existing road network, and no apparent environmental constraints. And, it is owned by a few long-time County residents committed to developing Renewable Energy on their lands.” Desert Claim intends not only to develop and construct the wind farm, but to also operate it for the life of the project. The Kittitas County permitting process provides for extensive review of any proposed wind farm, Steeb added, and provides ample opportunity for public participation. Desert Claim has been participating in the County’s process for regulating wind farm development for quite some time, Steeb said. Last month, the Kittitas County Board of County Commissioners lifted a temporary moratorium on wind farm applications and adopted new regulations giving the final say on wind farm projects to the elected Board of County Commissioners. Desert Claim filed its permit application under the County’s new regulations. The new County rules require three separate approvals to establish a wind farm, in addition to environmental review under the State Environmental Policy Act. The local application review process is expected to take several months. Desert Claim is a Washington limited liability company with an office in downtown Ellensburg. It is wholly owned and managed by enXco, Inc., which has owned and operated wind energy projects in the United States for more than 20 years. EnXco’s wind energy experience includes long-term operation and maintenance of more than 3,400 wind turbines.
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