The Klickitat County Planning Department, through its Energy Overlay Zone process, approved construction of Avangrid's 150 MW Lund Hill Solar Energy Project, and received no appeals of the decision by an Oct. 9 deadline, department director Mo-chi Lindblad told Clearing Up.

Avangrid says the solar project, to be sited about 7 miles southwest of Bickleton, Wash., will be the state's largest once commissioned (CU No. 1892 [12]). In public statements, the company has put the cost of the project at "more than $100 million."

Lund Hill will be financed in part by subscriptions to Puget Sound Energy's Green Direct program, which will use all the plant's generation. The utility's program allows large commercial and municipal customers to purchase 100 percent of their energy from dedicated, local, renewable energy resources (CU No. 1893 [11]).

The solar array and its infrastructure will occupy 1,871 acres of leased private and public lands that overlap with portions of Avangrid's Big Horn and Juniper Canyon wind facilities.

The 480 acres of public lands are the first lease of state trust lands for a solar project, and will generate more than $120,000 per year for Washington schools.

According to the final EIS issued in August, project construction is expected to commence in 2019 and take nine to 12 months, with commercial operations starting in 2020.

News Editor - Clearing Up

Rick Adair has been with NewsData since 2003, and is news editor for Clearing Up and editor for Water Power West. Previously, he covered environmental and energy issues in the Lake Tahoe area. He has a doctorate in earth sciences.