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Chico
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PostWed Oct 25, 2017 2:20 pm 
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dailyrecordnews.com

This is a news article on a past meeting.

County web page on solar planning is https://www.co.kittitas.wa.us/cds/comp-plan/solar-facilities.aspx

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MtnGoat
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PostThu Oct 26, 2017 8:58 am 
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what a great way to eat up vast areas of land for part time power output

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Chico
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PostThu Oct 26, 2017 4:27 pm 
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Yes. Much as I dislike them because of ruined views, wind turbines don't eat up so much tillable land.

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thunderhead
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PostFri Oct 27, 2017 7:24 am 
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The quality of farmland in eastern kittitas county is pretty poor, and its in the rain shadow of the Cascades, so its not the worst idea I have ever heard.

But its a pretty bad one.  Solar is not ready to compete at ~47 degrees latitude, especially in a region where it is up against much cheaper hydro, and somewhat cheaper and already existing wind.  And that's for the best eastern segments out near the Columbia river, tied in to the lines for the big dams.  Given the quality of thought that comes out of government planning councils, they will probably build them too far west where they are under clouds for half the year, and covering up much more useful soils.
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DIYSteve
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PostFri Oct 27, 2017 9:21 am 
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thunderhead wrote:
The quality of farmland in eastern kittitas county is pretty poor, and its in the rain shadow of the Cascades.  .  .  .

Much of the soil down in the wide flat Kittitas Valley is not bad, some quite good. Most years Yakima River provides more irrigation water than Kittitas County farmers can use. Kittitas County exports many tons of timothy and alfalfa to Japan and China. This is farm country. Eburg is an ag hub.

Anyway, that's not relevant because the wind farms are up in higher country, which AFAIK were never used for agricultural uses except maybe as free range 1 head per a bazillion acres. And the biggest wind farm, Wildhorse on Whiskey Dick Mountain, is not locked up. You can sign in and hike or run there. Good bicycling up to and down from the visitor's center. They hold a 5K/10K/half marathon foot race there each spring, which is a very fun event.
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thunderhead
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PostFri Oct 27, 2017 10:25 am 
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Ya, I should have said 'parts of', instead of implying the entire thing was poor.
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DigitalJanitor
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PostFri Oct 27, 2017 10:37 am 
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My house is close to a segment of the upper wind farm in mid KittCo. I'm annoyed that everyone has been chased off the footprint which includes some DNR sections, but otherwise I couldn't be happier. Deer are always hanging out especially in winter, I often see fresh elk sign (although they're sneaky enough to be hard to spot), and there's quite a few birds that nest up there.

Most of that land is so dry, windswept, and rocky that it's no good for almost anything else realistically. But give our county commissioners 10 seconds and it seems they'll try to cram 100 houses up there.  shakehead.gif  I can't express how bad a location this is for building on WRT fire... when the Taylor Bridge fire came through I'm told it was out running the trucks up on top of that ridge.

I'm ambivalent about commercial solar as long as there aren't other shenanigans afoot. There was a proposed site on the east end of Roslyn ridge a number of years ago that just seemed... shady. In retrospect I'll always wonder if it was part of an attempt (threat?) by the land holders in the Teanaway to get a buyer.

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DIYSteve
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PostFri Oct 27, 2017 10:58 am 
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DigitalJanitor wrote:
.  .  .  and there's quite a few birds that nest up there.

Yup, it's fantastic sage steppe habitat, as is the Wildhorse wind farm. I really enjoyed hearing and seeing lots of Sage Thrashers as I jogged the Run Like the Wind half marathon this spring.

And yeah, I too would like to see the upper windfarm opened up for hiking and ski touring.
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Chico
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PostFri Oct 27, 2017 12:59 pm 
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DigitalJanitor wrote:
There was a proposed site on the east end of Roslyn ridge a number of years ago that just seemed.

Down the ridge at that point is Cle Elum Ridge.

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RumiDude
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PostSun Oct 29, 2017 12:31 am 
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Electrify Everything

"Many public policies seek to promote energy efficiency, but as the authors of the Electricity Journal paper ó Keith Dennis of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and Ken Colburn and Jim Lazar of the Regulatory Assistance Project ó point out, energy efficiency isnít precisely what we want. What we want is emissions efficiency, i.e., getting the same amount of work with less carbon."

Rumi

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Chico
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PostSun Oct 29, 2017 5:57 am 
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More nuclear plants!

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thunderhead
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PostMon Oct 30, 2017 6:54 am 
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Fusion!

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RandyHiker
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PostMon Oct 30, 2017 7:08 am 
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Chico wrote:
More nuclear plants!

Yeah, sadly it takes a decade or more to build a fission plant of any sort in the USA.   So the amount that fission plants can add to the grid is pretty limited.   WPPSS demonstrated the problems of trying to do a crash course build up of fission plants.  Type 4 reactors that passively shutdown avoid many safety issues , but it will be even longer before commercial plants can be constructed.


Fusion is still a dream.
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DIYSteve
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PostMon Oct 30, 2017 8:41 am 
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As physicists said in 1965, controlled fusion is 40 years way and always will be
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Chico
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PostMon Nov 06, 2017 8:16 pm 
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fast breeder reactors

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Forum Index > Stewardship > Kittitas County takes input on solar farms
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