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How Washington's Last Coal Plant Could Become State's Largest Solar Project

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Bellamy Pailthorp
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Bob Guenther stands at the site of the future Tono Solar Farm

There's one coal-fired power plant left in Washington state. But it won't be burning coal for much longer: It's scheduled to shut down or to switch to natural gas by 2025.

The company that runs the plant, TransAlta, has plans to open a solar farm on one of the open-pit mines that used to provide coal to the plant. If plans hold, it would be the largest solar project in the state.

KNKX environment reporter Bellamy Pailthorp went to the site, and she talked with host Ed Ronco about the project. 

Bellamy Pailthorp covers the environment beat for KNKX, where she has worked since 1999. From 2000-2012, she covered the business and labor beat. Bellamy has a deep interest in Indigenous affairs and the Salish Sea. She has a masters in journalism from Columbia University.
Ed Ronco is a former KNKX producer and reporter and hosted All Things Considered for seven years.