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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 do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch. They are the products of and owned by the organizations or individuals noted and are shared here according to “fair use” and “fair dealing” provisions of copyright law.

March 30, 2023 • Connecticut, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode IslandPrint storyE-mail story

Dem senators from 4 states ask NOAA to address whale deaths

Democratic U.S. Senators from four states want federal environmental officials to address a spate of whale deaths on both coasts, urging “transparency and timeliness” in releasing information about whale deaths and their causes. The call late Tuesday by New Jersey Sens. Robert Menendez and Cory Booker; Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, and Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse for action by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration marked the first large-scale request for action by Democratic federal lawmakers . . . Complete story »

January 18, 2023 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Amid scrutiny, PGE overhauls flagship wind farm to address safety and reliability problems

Portland General Electric plans to overhaul its flagship wind farm to address known maintenance problems and safety concerns exposed in an August investigation by The Oregonian/OregonLive. The utility’s proposed fixes follow years of apparent inaction and come amid new scrutiny from state regulators who previously either ignored or did not recognize the scope of problems at the aging facility in the Columbia River Gorge. PGE temporarily shuttered its Biglow Canyon wind farm last year after a massive blade from one . . . Complete story »

December 23, 2022 • California, OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Researchers spot whales near California wind farm zones

“There are quite a lot of large whales out there, quite a number.” Complete story »

September 29, 2022 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Floating wind turbines could soon dot Oregon’s south coast

Floating wind farms off the Oregon coast could create as many as 100,000 jobs and help the state meet its clean energy targets, the Oregon Department of Energy told a legislative committee Thursday. But deployment faces challenges, including a lack of infrastructure and potential impacts on fishing, recreation and tourism, and marine habitats, officials said. Some of the best offshore wind speeds in the nation are in southern Oregon and northern California. Last year, the Oregon Legislature directed the Department . . . Complete story »

September 1, 2022 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Oregon wind farm sees blades, bolts fly off as failures mount: report

A new report has revealed the unreliability of a major Oregon wind farm, discovered after a blade from a windmill detached and flew across the field. According to The Oregonian, in January, a delivery driver found some broken, industrial-size bolts on the ground near one of Portland General Electric’s towering wind turbines but did not know who to tell and used it as a paperweight. On Feb 1 at 2:11 am, one of the turbine’s 11-story tall blades flew the . . . Complete story »

September 1, 2022 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Wind Bust: How an airborne blade exposed broader problems at PGE’s flagship wind farm

Pieces of turbine equipment are now falling into landowners’ fields with some regularity. PGE has not reported those incidents to the state promptly, or in some cases at all. That’s a potential violation of state administrative rules governing wind farms, as well as the conditions in Biglow Canyon’s operating permit with the state. Take the metal frame and pieces of fiberglass that fell off the damaged nose cone of a Vestas turbine in April 2021. PGE didn’t report it until June of this year, and only after a reporter asked why it hadn’t been disclosed to regulators. Complete story »

September 1, 2022 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Why accident, safety data is hard to come by for wind industry

While the Department of Energy maintains records of reported public safety and other incidents at the wind farms it regulates, it’s not comprehensive. The agency provided a spreadsheet it compiled to The Oregonian/OregonLive that listed 41 reported incidents dating back to 2011. Biglow Canyon in Sherman County is the only wind farm regulated by the state that has reported a full blade separation during that time frame. But the list included other related incidents, including two blades damaged by lightning in 2020 at the Montague Wind farm in Gilliam County; turbine fires at Shepherd’s Flat, which is in Gilliam and Morrow counties, and at Leaning Juniper IIA in Gilliam County; as well as a slew of transformer failures -- most of them at Biglow Canyon. The list doesn’t include two blade failures in 2008 and 2009 at the Stateline wind farm that are referenced in older compliance reports submitted to the state. Nor does it include the most serious incident, a 2007 turbine collapse at the Klondike III wind farm that killed one worker and injured another. Complete story »

September 1, 2022 • Oregon, Press releasesPrint storyE-mail story

Website shines a light on offshore wind farms

(NEWPORT, Ore) Protect US Fishermen, an informal coalition of more than two dozen organizations concerned about the environmental and economic impacts of proposed offshore wind farms in the Pacific Ocean, launched a new website on Monday. Visitors to protectUSfishermen.org will find details not only on the current push to place wind turbine farms off the coast of Oregon, but also learn about the sustainable seafood industry and its positive impacts on the economy and food security. For those wishing to . . . Complete story »

August 19, 2022 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Upcoming investigation: How an airborne blade exposed broader problems at PGE’s flagship wind farm

In the early hours of Feb. 1, one of the spinning blades on a turbine at Portland General Electric’s Biglow Canyon wind farm in Sherman County launched into the night. The 135-foot piece of fiberglass, wood and metal weighs more than seven tons. It flew the full length of a football field. An investigation by The Oregonian/OregonLive has found that the seemingly isolated incident, which has not been publicly reported until now, is part of a pattern of maintenance problems . . . Complete story »

July 6, 2022 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Why Google weighed in on a contentious Oregon offshore wind issue

U.S. ocean energy managers’ recent call for comments on possible wind power lease areas off the southern Oregon coast prompted input from developers, environmentalists, towns, counties, port overseers, state and federal bodies, unaffiliated members of the public and seafood industry interests. And Google LLC. The online search and advertising behemoth, an Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL) subsidiary, is a leading corporate buyer of renewable energy, and offshore wind could be a big new resource on the West Coast using floating turbines. . . . Complete story »

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