A not-yet-built wind farm north of Ellensburg may be smaller than earlier proposed.
Desert Claim Wind Power LLC, which is owned and managed by EDF Renewable Energy, has filed an application with the state Energy Site Facility Evaluation Council to build a smaller project.
The wind power project was approved in 2010 by then Gov. Chris Gregoire, but never built. It originally was slated to have 95 turbines.
An amendment request filed with the state last week proposes a smaller project with no more than 31 turbines. The project is planned about eight miles northwest of the city of Ellensburg, north of Smithson Road.
“Both the project area and actual footprint of the project are considerably smaller than previously authorized,” Desert Claim’s letter to EFSEC said. “The new configuration also avoids locating any turbines or associated facilities in the more environmentally sensitive areas east of Reecer Creek.”
The turbines would be taller, with a hub height between 262 and 278 feet compared to 258 feet earlier proposed, and a tip height of between 442 feet and 492 feet, compared to 410 feet earlier planned.
The turbines would be further from residences, the company’s letter to EFSEC said. There will no longer be any turbines located within 2,500 feet of any home, the letter said.
A SEPA checklist filed with EFSEC said construction is expected to begin in early 2020 with operation expected in late 2020.
EDF Renewable Energy officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
The request likely will be discussed at EFSEC’s next meeting on March 20, staff said.
EFSEC also is reviewing the separate Columbia Solar Project submitted by TUUSSO Energy. The project consists of five solar farms of 35-50 acres each in the rural Ellensburg area.
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