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PacifiCorp buys wind energy generation plant in Eastern Oregon


ARLINGTON, Ore. (AP) – In another sign of the growing market for alternative energy generation in Eastern Oregon, Northwest utility PacifiCorp has bought a wind energy facility near the town of Arlington, along the Columbia River.

PPM Energy of Portland began building the wind farm in January. Under the sales agreement, that company will complete construction for PacifiCorp, then provide operation, maintenance and a warranty for two years.

PPM estimated the project has created more than 100 jobs, about half in Gilliam County, and, with its 67 turbines, will generate enough energy to serve more than 30,000 homes each month.

“This purchase announcement is the first of several we expect to be making in the next year, as we aggressively pursue renewable resources,” said Greg Abel, PacifiCorp chairman and chief executive officer.

PacifiCorp, which operates as Pacific Power in Oregon, Washington and California, supplies electricity to its 1.6 million customers in six Western states. The firm’s generating plants can produce almost 8,500 megawatts from coal, hydro, gas-fired combustion turbines, wind and geothermal sources.

As part of its sale to MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., PacifiCorp committed to bringing at least 100 megawatts of wind resources into service by late March 2007, Abel said. The firm hopes to have 400 megawatts of renewable resources in its generation portfolio by the end of 2007.

The sale was a first for PPM Energy, which for some time has sold energy from wind farms and developed the Stateline Wind Energy Center in Umatilla, which, with a 300-megawatt generating capacity, is the nation’s largest wind farm.

PPM Energy, a ScottishPower company, has more than 1,700 megawatts of wind energy in operation or under construction. Its goal is to increase wind generation to at least 3,500 megawatts by 2010.


Information from: East Oregonian, http://www.eastoregonian.info