County Board approves permit for 75MW solar project in Washington State

Source: Teanaway Solar Reserve 

In a landmark decision for the city of Cle Elum, Kittitas County, Washington State and the nation, the Kittitas County Board of Adjustment approved a permit for Teanaway Solar Reserve (TSR). The 75-MW project, located 90 miles east of Seattle, will be one of the largest photovoltaic solar facilities in the world. 

"With this decision, Kittitas County is in the forefront of the nation's new renewable energy industry," says Howard Trott, TSR's Managing Director. "TSR's vision to generate green jobs and energy is now a reality, and it marks the start of a new future for Kittitas County and Washington State." 

The five-member board ruled 4-to-1 in favor of issuing the permit. The decision was made after formal presentations by the Kittitas County Office of Community Development and the applicant, and public testimony both in favor and in opposition to the project. Support for TSR was visible, with a vast majority of the 200 attendees in favor of the project. 

"This represents a monumental step forward for Kittitas County, and the Upper County in particular," says Matt Morton, the City Manager of Cle Elum. "The integrity, partnership and vision TSR has demonstrated will translate into investment in our communities, jobs for our working families and opportunities for our children. We are very pleased that the entire community continues to recognize the significance, value and potential of this environmentally responsible 21st Century technology here in Kittitas County. TSR thought we were the best location and the best community in the world for its investment, and we wholeheartedly agree!"

The mayor of Cle Elum, the Cle Elum-Roslyn Chamber of Commerce, and the Economic Development Group of Kittitas County are among the many individuals and organizations that have supported the project. 

In a unanimous vote earlier in the evening, the Board of Adjustment denied an appeal to TSR's SEPA ruling, which had been issued by the Office of Community Development on July 15th. 

The evening began with a green jobs and industry rally at the County Fairgrounds in Ellensburg, where the hearing took place. Community members displayed signs with slogans like, "Jobs For Us" and "Power Local Jobs." 

TSR will bring more than 200 construction jobs and 35 permanent jobs to an economically depressed community about 90 miles east of Seattle. The project will also produce a significant revenue stream, generating more than $97 million in purchases of goods and services during construction, and more than $1.5 million annually in property tax revenues to support local schools, roads and hospitals. 

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