Media Advisory: EFSEC Hosts March Meeting in Ellensburg

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– March 15, 2018 –

Media Contact: (360) 664-1116 or

Docket Numbers: EF-170823, EF-180105 


EFSEC Hosts March Meeting in Ellensburg

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council will hold its March meeting in Ellensburg, where it is scheduled to discuss the proposed Columbia Solar project.

The council may take final action on whether to grant expedited processing to the Columbia Solar project.

Council staff will also provide an update on the review of the requested changes to the Desert Claim site certification agreement.

In addition to discussion related to Kittitas County projects, the council will take up regularly scheduled business.

A full agenda for the meeting can be found here.


March EFSEC meeting


Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council


Tuesday, March 20

1:30 p.m.

Kittitas Valley Event Center

901 E. 7th Ave.

Ellensburg, WA 98926


In October 2017, TUUSSO Energy applied for a site certification agreement from EFSEC to construct and operate five solar arrays and two generation tie lines in Kittitas County, WA. Collectively the installations would span 200 acres of leased land and are known as the Columbia Solar project. Each new solar array would be capable of providing up to 5 megawatts of solar energy within the Puget Sound Energy service area, for a total of 25 megawatts of electrical power generation.

TUUSSO Energy requested in its application an expedited review process. An application is eligible for expedited review if EFSEC determines the environmental impacts are not significant or can be mitigated to non-significant levels under the State Environmental Policy Act and when a project is consistent with city, county, or regional land-use plans.

EFSEC released an environmental determination of mitigated non-significance for the proposed Columbia Solar project in February.

If the Columbia Solar project is determined to be eligible for expedited review, EFSEC would have 180 days from the time of application submission to make a recommendation to the governor.

The Desert Claim Wind Power project originally received a site certification agreement from EFSEC in 2010 to construct 95 wind turbines, producing 190 megawatts, located on approximately 5,200 contiguous acres in Kittitas County.

On February 26, Desert Claim Wind Power LLC submitted to EFSEC a request to amend its site certification agreement to build a smaller project instead.

The proposal calls for a maximum power capacity of 100 megawatts using 31 turbines.

EFSEC was created by the state Legislature in 1970 to provide one-stop licensing for large energy projects. The council's responsibilities include siting large natural gas and oil pipelines, thermal electric power plants that are 350 megawatts or greater and their dedicated transmission lines, new oil refineries or large expansions of existing facilities, and underground natural gas storage fields. Alternative energy proposals can also opt into the EFSEC review process.




Editor’s note: More information on this proposed project can be found at