Wind Power News: Oregon
These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.
Avanagrid Renewables, which already has nearly 1,300 megawatts of operating wind power in the region and is building a big project that will sell its output to Apple, has acquired a permitted but unbuilt project in the Columbia River Gorge. But don’t count on the 400-megawatt Golden Hills Wind Farm breaking ground soon. With the acquisition from Orion Renewable Energy Group, Avangrid Renewables is asking state regulators to extend the deadline for beginning construction on the Sherman County project from . . .
Tax reform, the big issue on Capitol Hill these days, could spell trouble for PacifiCorp’s bid to spend billions on wind power in the next three years. The Portland-based utility’s “Energy Vision 2020” proposal calls for 999 megawatts of retooled wind turbines in several states including Oregon, 1,270 megawatts of new wind in Wyoming, and a 140-mile transmission line also in Wyoming, all at cost of around $3.2 billion. The proposal is built around an expiring federal incentive called the . . .
Portland General Electric is downsizing its ambitions and PacifiCorp is facing vigorous opposition as Oregon regulators continue to wrestle with plans by the investor-owned utilities to spend big money on new renewables. The regulator qualms, shared by some stakeholders, aren’t with renewables so much as the utilities’ desires to make massive investments in the next few years. PGE, rebuffed on a potential $1 billion wind power buy two months ago, on Tuesday outlined a “new path forward” to the Public . . .
Staff advisers at Oregon’s utility regulator threw cold water on PacifiCorp’s plan to spend $3.5 billion, one of its biggest upgrades ever, on wind turbines and a new transmission line. The Public Utility Commission staff say the utility had failed to justify the need for the massive capital investments, whether to meet its capacity, energy or reliability needs. PacifiCorp is seeking state regulators’ blessing for what it calls “Energy Vision 2020.” Approval from the regulators would provide greater assurance that . . .
A Canadian company says it’s ready to pursue a big wind power plant in Umatilla County, not far from where the nation’s largest generator of renewable energy wants to build its own major wind farm. Capital Power Corporation this month filed a notice of intent with the state’s Energy Facility Siting Council to seek a site certificate for the Nolin Hills Wind Power Project, capable of producing up to 350 megawatts of power. It would be located about 10 miles . . .
How do you increase opportunities for public participation in a process without adding significant time and complexity? That is the issue Oregon’s Energy Facility Siting Council has been grappling with over the past few years as it looks to update its administrative rules for making amendments to the site certificates issued for large-scale energy facilities. Site certificates are the state approval necessary to construct and operate energy facilities. After the owners of such a facility get a site certificate from . . .
Portland General Electric officials entered a meeting in Salem this week intent on persuading state regulators that it makes economic and environmental sense to move quickly on a massive new wind farm to meet the state’s expanded green energy mandates. The utility was already playing defense. Facing intense blowback from environmental advocates, ratepayer groups and regulatory staff, it had abandoned the centerpiece of the resource plan it had submitted to the Public Utility Commission in November. That would potentially have . . .
Regulators have cleared Apple’s Oregon wind power project to use the biggest turbines ever deployed in the Pacific Northwest. Project developer Avangrid Renewables said it hasn’t made a final decision on the machines it will use at the Montague Wind Power Facility, but regulators last week granted a site-certificate amendment that allows for turbines with rotor diameters of 136 meters and generating capacities of 3.6 megawatts. The biggest turbines in the region now top out around 100 to 110 meters . . .
PacifiCorp and Portland General Electric pitched new resource plans to regulators last week that include major investments in renewable energy. PacifiCorp’s $3.5 billion proposal entails building 1,100 megawatts of new wind farms in Wyoming, upgrading another 1,000 megawatts of existing windmills there to provide more power, and building a new transmission line to ease bottlenecks on the grid and bring all that green energy to market. PGE touted a smaller but ambitious expansion that would have it build or buy . . .
On the brink of construction, a 292-turbine wind farm slated for Umatilla and Morrow counties is changing hands. NextEra Energy, based in Juno Beach, Florida, has purchased the development rights for the Wheatridge Wind Energy Facility and is now working to transfer the project’s site certificate through the Oregon Department of Energy. Wheatridge was pioneered by Ione farmer Jerry Rietmann before the facility sold to NextEra in April, according to documents. One month later, the Energy Facility Siting Council issued . . .