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.
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 . . .
Fewer but bigger turbines – the most powerful ever deployed in the Northwest – could reduce the footprint and improve the economics of an Oregon wind farm that Apple is counting on for vast amounts of clean energy. Project developer Avangrid Renewables is seeking a permit amendment for the Montague Wind Power Facility that would allow it to use a turbine model with a rotor diameter of 136 meters and generating capacity of 3.6 megawatts. That’s a big step up from the . . .
This old man is going on 80, and ever since I rolled into Oregon in ’51 on my beautiful 1947 Harley—and in later years literally soared over the sprawling sagebrush and rim rocks, sharing airspace with eagles—I’ve discovered more and more animals, plants and places and people to keep me busy helping to save. I’ve had the honor and delight to spend hours, days and years sharing the high desert with my family and so many friends in the Fort . . .
The system will feature a tower-mounted, computer-connected camera able to determine if an approaching bird is an eagle and whether it’s flying toward the blades. If both those answers are yes, the computer triggers a ground-level deterrent: randomly moving, brightly colored facsimiles of people, designed to play into eagles’ apparent aversion to humans. “There’s no research available, but hopefully those will deter the eagles from coming closer to the turbines,” Albertani said. “We want the deterrent to be simple and affordable.” At the root of each turbine blade will be a vibration sensor able to detect the kind of thump produced by a bird hitting a blade. Whenever such a thump is detected, recorded video data from a blade-mounted micro-camera can be examined to tell if the impact was caused by an eagle or something else.
BEND, Ore. – Two conservation groups are cheering a federal court ruling that they say seals the fate of a proposed wind-energy project in a place deemed very special and protected: Steens Mountain in southeast Oregon. Here’s the full text of a news release issued Wednesday by the Bend-based Oregon Natural Desert Association and the Audubon Society of Portland: The long-running case over the impacts of proposed industrial-scale wind energy development on Steens Mountain in southeastern Oregon was put to . . .
A federal court has killed a large wind energy project in southeast Oregon over concerns about a declining sage grouse population that needs the area to breed. The U.S. District Court in Portland vacated plans for the project Tuesday, bringing an end to lengthy litigation over the proposal by Columbia Energy Partners. The project proposal was for wind energy development on roughly 10,500 acres of private land in Harney County near Steens Mountain. The project called for 40 to 69 . . .
Northwest rivers are running high as all that winter snowpack melts into spring runoff. And that means the region is producing too much of a good thing: carbon-free, renewable energy in the form of both dam-generated hydropower along with electricity from spinning wind-farm turbines. That’s prompted the federal government to take an action it avoided during the last four years of drought conditions: shutting down wind power. That’s something the Bonneville Power Administration did each spring from 2010 to 2012, . . .
Marking the return of big wind power development in Oregon, Avangrid Renewables plans to break ground in September on the first phase of a 404-megawatt project in Gilliam County. As with the company’s Gala Solar project in Crook County, power from the 202-megawatt Phase I of the Montague project will go to a non-utility mystery buyer. One megawatt can power between 250 and 400 homes. “We do have a signed PPA for Phase I, but they do not wish to . . .