My mail box is being flooded this morning with press releases and advisories announcing a major new solar power facility to be built just north of Cle Elum:
A privately-held solar company today announced plans to install a 400-acre solar park on property north of Cle Elum, Washington. The Teanaway Solar Reserve is designed to generate about 75 megawatts of renewable energy — enough to power approximately 45,000 households — making it the largest photovoltaic (PV) solar project ever proposed in the Northwest.
[…] The Teanaway Solar Reserve will employ PV solar technology to directly convert sunlight into electricity. The power it generates will be connected to the utility grid and will offset about 275-million pounds of carbon dioxide every year compared to the equivalent amount of energy produced from coal. The target date for completion is fall 2011.
It’s not entirely clear, but it sounds like the company plans to build a manufacturing facility near the site to build the 400,000 panels necessary to complete the project… which would surely be an economic boon for the county, lasting far beyond the solar reserve’s initial construction.
And since I just took a shot at Sen. Maria Cantwell in a previous post, I suppose it’s only fair to give her a shout out on an issue on which she has shown great leadership:
Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) says, “Last year, I fought to pass my bipartisan clean energy tax incentives bill, and now, thanks in part to that legislation, we’re seeing this project get off the ground. Washington State is leading the way to transitioning our world to a clean energy economy, and I am so proud that our state will be home to one of the largest solar generating facilities in the nation. This groundbreaking project will create construction and manufacturing jobs, bring hundreds of millions of investment dollars into Central Washington, and generate fuel and emissions-free electricity for our citizens.”
2011 seems like an awful ambitious target, but we need to be ambitious when it comes to renewable energy.