Zilkha Renewable Energy Unveils Wind Plans

Zilkha Renewable Energy unveiled plans for a new 165 MW wind farm. The “Wild Horse Wind Power Project” is planned for development on property along Whiskey Dick Mountain seven miles east of Kittitas, Washington. The Wild Horse Wind Power Project, named for a spring on the remote ranch, joins two other wind farm projects under active development in Kittitas County. Caurus Power, a California-based wind power firm, secured rights to develop a 5,000 acre site in 2001. Caurus Wind and Zilkha recently finalized plans to develop the property.

Ellensburg, Washington – July 2, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] “We are delighted with this prospect,” said Andrew Young, Director of Project Development for Zilkha Renewable Energy. “The wind resource is excellent, and the site’s features are consistent with what we look for.” Zilkha envisions that the Wild Horse Project will feature approximately 100 wind turbines generating enough power to serve the annual needs of over 40,000 Northwest homes. The estimated capital cost of the project will exceed US$175 million. Power generated will be delivered to Northwest utilities via either Bonneville Power Administration or Puget Sound Energy transmission lines running near the site. Zilkha has conducted preliminary studies confirming that existing land uses, primarily commercial ranching, are compatible with wind farm development. Wildlife surveys, meteorological studies have been completed, and other studies are ongoing. Zilkha Renewable Energy is currently also developing a 181 MW wind farm, the “Kittitas Valley Wind Power Project,” in Kittitas County. The project, 12 miles northwest of Ellensburg, is currently under review by the Washington State Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC). The Council consolidates state and local agency reviews under a single, rigorous procedure. Local jurisdictions serve on the Council, which encourages public input and holds hearings in the community. Zilkha plans to conduct a preliminary screening process of Wild Horse, which EFSEC calls a “Potential Site Study,” to help guide preparation of a formal application to the Council. The project should be completed and on line by the end of 2005. Chris Taylor, Zilkha’s Project Development Manager observed that his company has, with Wild Horse, completed selecting project sites in Kittitas County. We’re confident that we have chosen the truly prime windy lands here. Kittitas County’s winds are among the very best in the Northwest,” Taylor said, “our two sites tap the wind as it sweeps through the county. We catch it literally coming and going.” “Everyone knows that Kittitas County is windy,” said Debbie Strand, executive director of the Phoenix Group, the county’s economic development organization. “The arrival of commercial wind farms could deliver nearly a billion dollars of investment. With economic recovery slow, this project will provide a much needed boost to our local economy and tax base.”
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