Cooperative Wind Power Project Aims for 200 MW

Coop-based wind power projects are typically smaller scale projects, but a new proposal would prove to be one of the larger wind farms in the United States.

Members of the Last Mile Electric Cooperative have submitted an application for a 200-MW wind power project in Klickitat County, Washington, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The Board of Adjustments has scheduled a public hearing in April. The power generated by the facility, to be known as the White Creek project, will be enough to serve about 60,000 homes throughout the region. In September 2003, members of the Last Mile Electric Cooperative secured development rights to some 28,000 acres of high quality wind resource land owned by six local ranchers north of the Columbia River near Roosevelt, Washington, in Klickitat County. Since 2003, the project participants have been collecting wind resource data and working on the required studies for the wind site. The participants in the Last Mile Electric Cooperative are all publicly-owned utilities and nonprofit organizations, including the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) and six small Pacific Northwest consumer-owned utilities: Kittitas County Public Utility District; Klickitat Public Utility District; Lakeview Light and Power; Mason County Public Utility District #3; Plumas Sierra Electric Cooperative; and Tanner Electric Cooperative. “Last Mile Electric is thrilled to reach this important point in our quest to harness a natural resource that is free and renewable in the truest sense of the term,” said Robin Rego, Last Mile’s president and Lakeview Light and Power general manager. “What is especially unique is the meld of non-profit participants who have banded together with a common vision to make this happen. Now we eagerly look forward to receive permit approval before the next stage of the project gets underway.” The developers hope to commission the project in the last quarter of 2006. Information courtesy of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)
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