The Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council approved a site certificate for the 909 megawatt Shepherds Flat Wind Farm. Located in Gilliam and Morrow counties, Shepherds Flat will double Oregon’s current wind operating capacity of about 889 megawatts. The company that is developing the project claims it will be the world’s largest wind farm.
“This is a tremendous day for renewable energy in Oregon,” says Michael Grainey, director of the Oregon Department of Energy. “With the Council’s unanimous approval we have taken a large step toward meeting Governor Kulongoski’s climate change goals by developing clean, renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This also helps meet the Renewable Portfolio Standard requirement of 25 percent renewable electricity by 2025.”
The project is being developed by Caithness Shepherds Flat, LLC of Sacramento, Calif., which proposes 303 wind turbines with a peak capacity of 909 megawatts. Caithness says Shepherds Flat will be the largest single wind farm in the world. The project area is between Highway 19 and Highway 74 on privately-owned land, about five miles southeast of Arlington. The power output of the facility would enter the Federal Columbia River Transmission System through Bonneville Power Administration’s Slatt Substation.
“This facility is expected to employ 250 to 300 people during construction and have up to 25 operational jobs,” says Bob Shiprack, chairman of the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council. “This is a boost to economic development in rural Oregon.”
Annual lease payments to the landowners help supplement farm income, and the wind farm will also provide property tax revenue to Gilliam and Morrow counties.
Other renewable energy projects currently be reviewed by the Oregon Department of Energy include the 400 megawatts Golden Hills Wind Farm in Sherman County and the 143 MW Newberry Geothermal Project in Deschutes County.
Currently, the largest operating wind farm in the U.S. is Horse Hollow in Texas at 736 megawatts. Businessman /Investor T. Boone Pickens plans to build the world’s largest wind farm by 2014 at 4,000 megawatts. It would also be located in Texas.
25 July 2008
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