September 7, 2006

Another wind company studies east-county site

By Mike Johnston

Denver-based Invenergy Wind LLC has options to lease or buy land 20 to 25 miles east of Ellensburg for a wind farm project, located between Vantage Highway and Interstate 90.

The company, part of the larger Chicago-based power-generation company Invenergy, has environmental, wind, habitat and wildlife studies under way at this time at the site, according to Doug Carter, vice president of development for the company’s western region.

“We have, so far, viewed the location as a good site for wind-power generation,” Carter said. “We intend to keep developing the site.”

Carter declined to say what the acreage of the project area is and whether the company intends to purchase or lease the land, which he said involves several owners.

He also declined to indicate how many turbines are planned for the location, which is southeast of the 127-turbine Wild Horse Wind Power Project, presently under construction and owned by Puget Sound Energy, a Bellevue-based private power company.

Darryl Piercy, director of Kittitas County’s Community Development Services, said representatives of Invenergy have made informal inquiries with his department about county requirements for applying for a wind farm project.

Piercy said the representatives speculated Invenergy may file an application with the county in October or later.

The company also has made inquiries with the county about leave availability of county-owned land in the Ryegrass area east of Ellensburg, where the county has a former landfill site.

Carter said studies also are under way on how a wind farm at the site between Vantage Highway and I-90 could connect to existing Puget Power and Bonneville Power Administration lines.

Invenergy first put up meteorological towers at the site in early October 2004 to begin wind-power generation studies. Invenergy Wind, according to it’s Web site, has wind projects in 20 states, Canada and Europe. Invenergy currently has 340 megawatts of wind energy projects in operation or construction with a total capital cost of almost $500 million.

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