Chelan County Commissioners want to learn more about an effort to establish solar power generating sites in Eastern Washington. 

Commissioner Bob Bugert recently attended a meeting hosted by the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) where the agency expressed interest in obtaining parcels of land in the region. 

"They are looking at finding 15 parcels in Eastern Washington," said Bugert. "They cannot do it in Western Washington because of the habitat conservation plan over there for the spotted owl." 

Bugert said the department can get $1,000 per acre if it leases land for solar power modules, rather than just three-dollars an acre for other purposes. 

Commissioner Kevin Overbay says an area currently operated by the Department of Natural of Natural Resources would be a good fit to place a large collection of the solar modules. 

"That would be the Dry Gulch area, Dry Gulch Preserve on the south end of the county," said Overbay. "And the upside is all the property surrounding that is privately owned property for one entity. And then they're (DNR) property lies within that. And they do not open it to the public for recreational purposes." 

Overbay said there is already a road built to provide access to the area for a Rivercom site. 

In addition, he said the slope of the land would be south facing, which would work well for a collection of solar modules. 

DNR is currently creating an interactive map of its managed lands for potential solar energy development leases. The effort is part of its obligations to support schools, universities, and other public services in the state through the Clean Energy Program. 

The map will identify potential DNR managed properties that could be leased for solar development. 

Chelan County Commissioners agreed on Tuesday to continue dialogue with DNR after Commissioner Bugert retires from his position at the end of the year. 

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