Jeff and Jackie Brunson have grown alfalfa, Timothy hay, and other crops on their Central Washington farm in Kittitas County. They want to expand their farming operation to include a solar power lease to Seattle-based Tuusso Energy, and Gov. Jay Inslee will be the decider. A neighbor formed a nonprofit called Save Our Farms to oppose the installation of photovoltaic panels on 200 acres near Ellensburg, including 80 belonging to the Brunsons. County commissioners also rejected a previous solar farm application and subsequently issued a moratorium for all new ones, including the Brunsons’. But now the contentious debate is out of the county’s hands. The state’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council has until mid-June to make a recommendation to the governor. “The process really takes away the voice of the local government and the local citizens and local control of what the land is going to look like,” said Laura Osiadacz, a county commissioner.
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Photo Credit: The Seattle Times