Klickitat County, Washington, is the first county in the US to create a 2590 kilometre square Clean Energy Economic Development Zone to foster the development of renewable energy. The county spent three years on environmental and technical research, including a $90,000 avian study, before announcing the new zone, located along the Columbia River in an area referred to as the wind-surfing capital of the US. The idea is not dissimilar to an "industrial zone" overlay. The green zone enables county officials to provide clear direction and detailed mapping to clean energy developers as a starting place for projects. With publicly reviewed boundaries where wind and solar projects are an allowed use, the county hopes the risk of selecting sites for development is decreased. Developers must still go through site specific environmental review, but industry watchers say the zone is useful. "Klickitat County is sending a clear signal to developers about where projects should and should not be located," says Troy Gagliano of the Renewable Northwest Project, "which helps enormously."
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol