Gov. Inslee signs Site Certification Agreement
LACEY, Wash. - Yesterday, Gov. Jay Inslee signed the Site Certification Agreement for the proposed Goose Prairie Solar project, agreeing with the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council’s recommendation to allow project construction.
The Site Certification Agreement allows OneEnergy Renewables to construct and operate an 80 megawatt (MW) solar powered generation facility near the city of Moxee in Yakima County, Washington. The facility will use solar photovoltaic panels to convert energy from the sun into electric power to deliver to the electric power grid. The panels will tilt throughout the day to follow the sun, maximizing energy output.
The Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council submitted a recommendation to the governor to approve the project siting after completing an environmental review of the proposed project under the State Environmental Policy Act, including several opportunities for public comment.
The Council’s evaluation considers all environmental and socioeconomic impacts of the project before making a recommendation to the governor on whether he should approve or deny the application. The governor has final approval.
EFSEC received 22 public comments on the project application.
In January 2021, OneEnergy Renewables filed an application to construct and operate the Goose Prairie Solar facility and requested expedited processing, which EFSEC granted after determining that the site would not have a probable significant adverse impact on the environment.
Prior to the approval of expedited processing, EFSEC issued a Mitigated Determination of Nonsignificance (MDNS), listing 19 measures to mitigate environmental concerns including wind and water erosion, impacts on animal habitats, and alteration of historic or cultural sites.
In October, EFSEC completed its application review and submitted a recommendation to the governor to approve the Goose Prairie Solar project, finding that it would contribute to the needed availability of renewable energy at a reasonable cost without significant adverse impact to the environment.
On Dec. 20, Gov. Inslee approved EFSEC’s recommendation and signed a Site Certification Agreement, allowing OneEnergy Renewables to move forward with the Goose Prairie Solar Project.
The Site Certification Agreement is an agreement between the State of Washington and OneEnergy Renewables, outlining how the company may construct and operate the facility, including mitigation efforts it is required and agreed to undertake.
EFSEC is the state agency charged with providing one-stop permitting for certain types of major energy projects in Washington. EFSEC specifies the conditions of construction and operation. The council also manages an environmental and safety oversight program of facility and site operations.
Editor's Note: The Site Certification Agreement and all documents related to the Goose Prairie Solar project are available on EFSEC's website.