Building on its expanding wind and solar power industries, Kittitas County is joining with Central Washington University, the Economic Development Group of Kittitas County, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) and enXco to create a broad public-private partnership focused on renewable power research and job growth.
Called the Central Washington Resource Energy Collaborative, the new organization has applied for state designation as an Innovation Partnership Zone. The designation would open the way for future state support of the collaborative.
Together, the partners have committed a total of $1.2 million in financial support and in-kind services over the next three years. In addition to recruiting renewable power projects, the contributions will support hiring an executive director and constructing a building to house the collaborative's offices on county land.
‘Led by the collaborative, we have a unique opportunity to build renewable power into a leading economic engine for the county and state,’ says Kittitas County Commissioner Paul Jewell. ‘All of the partners are fully committed to this initiative, and we believe the state will welcome our effort.’
Kittitas County has four wind farms and three solar facilities in various stages of planning and production. PSE's Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility is already operating, and enXco's Desert Claim Wind Power project is in the final stages of consideration by the state.
The deadline for the decision on the collaborative's application is Oct. 1.
SOURCES: Kittitas County, Central Washington University, the Economic Development Group of Kittitas County, Puget Sound Energy, enXco