Teanaway Solar Reserve project moves ahead with receipt of environmental permit

Source: Teanaway Solar Reserve

Kittitas County has cleared the way for the Teanaway Solar Reserve (TSR) to advance to the final step in the permitting process. The Office of Community Development Services issued a "Mitigated Declaration of Non-Significance," finding TSR has taken sufficient steps to avoid or mitigate for any significant environmental impacts caused by the construction and operation of the project. 

Howard Trott, TSR Managing Director, said, "I am extremely pleased with the outcome of the decision. It represents literally thousands of hours of work from our team of engineers and scientists, and coordination with the County and various state agencies, to develop a comprehensive plan for moving forward with a project that will provide renewable energy and jobs while permanently safeguarding the environment." 

The decision reflects the input of state agencies including the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Department of Ecology, and the Department of Natural Resources. The final proposal incorporates input from the City of Cle Elum and numerous area residents. After reviewing the expanded SEPA (State Environmental Protection Act) checklist, Kittitas County Development Services determined that TSR's "proposal does not have a probable significant adverse impact on the environment that cannot be mitigated...." 

In August, the county's Board of Adjustment will rule on TSR's Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application. After that, the Board of County Commissioners will review a Development Agreement between the County and TSR. Once the CUP and DA are in hand, TSR will hire a local workforce and break ground. 

Once constructed, TSR will be one of the largest photovoltaic solar generators in the world. The project, which is proposed at a location just outside the town of Cle Elum, Washington (90 miles east of Seattle), has earned the support of a vast majority of stakeholders at the local, county and state levels. 

TSR Project Overview 

-- Creates approximately 225 construction jobs and 35 permanent jobs 

-- Generates 75-MW of renewable energy from 400,000 solar photovoltaic panels
-- Utilizes 477 acres of the 982 project site, with the remainder set aside as open space and wildlife habitat 

-- Sited on property that has been managed as timberland for last century 

-- Agreement with Washington's Department of Fish and Wildlife that mitigates for impacts to elk and other concerns by the agency, including a 2:1 replacement of elk habitat 

-- TSR has voluntarily committed to replacing three trees for every one removed during project construction

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