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Commissioners approve memorandum for Skookumchuck Wind Energy Project

As a project moves forward to build a wind energy generation facility in Lewis and Thurston counties, the Board of Lewis County Commissioners approved a memorandum of understanding on Monday that lays out the roles of each agency involved in the project.

The Skookumchuck Wind Energy Project LLC is looking to site, permit, construct and operate a wind energy generation facility equipped with windmills.

Lee Napier, the county’s community development director, said the proposal continues to evolve, but stated that currently the company will construct facility operations in Thurston County, while most, if not all, of the wind turbines would be located in Lewis County.

Earlier reporting by The Chronicle stated the project could have up to 52 turbines.

The land within Lewis County is located near the Skookumchuck Reservoir on Weyerhaeuser land.

Under the agreement, Thurston County would be the lead of the SEPA – or the state environmental policy act – process.

According to the memorandum of understanding, Lewis County would only take on the responsibilities required of a cooperating agency.

“As a cooperating agency, Lewis will provide adequate staffing resources to ensure active participation in the environmental review process, and shall contribute data and information relevant to the process,” states the agreement.

Napier said the project is not only being permitted by Thurston and Lewis counties, but stated there are a variety of other agencies involved.

“Each time they have reviewed it, it changes a little bit,” she said of the project.