Puget Sound Energy, the utility subsidiary of Puget Energy, has announced plans to expand its Wild Horse Wind Facility, located east of Ellensburg on central Washington’s Whisky Dick Mountain.
PSE is proposing to add approximately 25 wind turbines to its Wild Horse operations in eastern Kittitas County, which currently has 127 turbines. The expansion would add a 1,400-acre parcel of land immediately to the north of the existing 9,150-acre site.
At maximum output, the Wild Horse facility currently generates up to 229 megawatts (MW) of electricity—enough power to serve approximately 60,000 households. The expansion project will boost Wild Horse generating capacity by a projected 40 to 50 MW. The proposed expansion remains within the maximum number of turbines (158) and power output (312 MW) authorized by Wild Horse’s original development permits.
“The Wild Horse site has proven itself to be an excellent location for producing clean, renewable energy, and it makes sense to build on that success,” said Kimberly Harris, executive vice president and chief resource officer for PSE.
Harris said PSE plans ask the state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council to amend the utility’s current Wild Horse site certifi-cation agreement to accommodate the expansion project. PSE also will be pursuing an amendment to its existing Wild Horse devel-opment agreement with Kittitas County. PSE anticipates that once the necessary approvals are received, construction will begin in 2009, with the new Wild Horse turbines producing electricity by 2010.
In addition to the wind turbines, the Wild Horse site includes a 500-kilowatt solar project, the Pacific Northwest’s largest solar energy producer, and the recently opened Renewable Energy Center, where the public can learn more about wind and solar power as well as the natural history of the Kittitas Valley.