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Wind Power News: Oregon

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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.


October 3, 2019 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

State finds wind farm abused workers

Oregon Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle’s agency has lowered the boom on Colorado-based RES Construction, a subcontractor on the $590 million Montague wind farm in Eastern Oregon’s Gilliam County. Investigators for the Bureau of Labor and Industries determined RES deprived workers of hundreds of meal and rest breaks earlier this year. BOLI now proposes to fine RES $209,800, the biggest penalty imposed by the agency since it fined legislative leaders $1.1 million in a sexual harassment case. The Montague project qualified . . . Complete story »


September 23, 2019 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Oregon State study says wind turbines threaten migrating bats

BEND – A Pacific Northwest bat that that migrates south for the winter faces a serious threat from wind turbines, according to a study by the by Oregon State University—Cascades. The study concludes that the hoary bat faces an uncertain future because its numbers have declined by 2% per year, the Bend Bulletin reports. Collisions with propellers on wind farms kill bats, said Tom Rodhouse, one of the authors, an ecologist with the National Park Service and a courtesy faculty member . . . Complete story »


September 22, 2019 • Oregon, WashingtonPrint storyE-mail story

Hoary bat numbers decline amid wind turbine expansion

Bats are facing multiple threats in the Pacific Northwest as both white-nose syndrome and wind turbines are threatening to decimate their population numbers, according to a study by Oregon State University—Cascades. The hoary bat – which does not hibernate but instead migrates south for the winter – faces an uncertain future because its numbers have declined at a rate of 2% per year, according to Tom Rodhouse, one of the authors of the study. The cause of the hoary bat decline is . . . Complete story »


September 17, 2019 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Offshore wind energy looks more promising for Oregon

Oregon’s high desert is getting crowded, so wind power advocates are once again looking to the sea. At a conference last week in Portland, ocean energy advocates presented an update on the state of offshore wind power in Oregon. Costs have dropped dramatically since the last failed attempt to harness the wind over Oregon’s Pacific waters, making an offshore, deep-water wind farm once again seem feasible. A stretch of the Pacific Ocean off the coast between Humboldt County, California, and . . . Complete story »


September 12, 2019 • Oregon, U.S.Print storyE-mail story

Hoary bat numbers declining at rate that suggests species in jeopardy in Pacific Northwest

The hoary bat, the species of bat most frequently found dead at wind power facilities, is declining at a rate that threatens its long-term future in the Pacific Northwest, according to a novel and comprehensive research collaboration based at Oregon State University—Cascades. The findings, published today in Ecology and Evolution, result from modeling based on field surveys across Oregon and Washington that began in 2003. Bat population declines are problematic for a host of reasons. Bats provide ecosystem services in . . . Complete story »


August 7, 2019 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Oregon Supreme Court invalidates energy facility permit approval rules

The future of two large power projects in Oregon was unclear after the state’s highest court said the process by which they got permission to build was invalid. Oregon Supreme Court justices, in a 6-0 opinion Aug. 1, held the 2017 rules that the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council used to grant site certificates to developers are invalid because the council failed to adopt a written method of tracking the success of the rules. The court also held that the . . . Complete story »


August 7, 2019 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Court decision could nullify Deschutes wind farm permit

A recent state Supreme Court decision is expected to nullify a permit for the Summit Ridge Wind Farm project in Wasco County. The Aug. 1 ruling sided with a coalition of nine conservation and other groups, led by Friends of the Columbia Gorge, finding that the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council’s rules for amending permits for projects, called site certificates, were invalid. “Our conclusion is that none of the amendments applied for since that 2017 date can be processed further . . . Complete story »


August 7, 2019 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Summit Ridge: Supreme Court ruling terminates two windfarm project expansions in Gorge

On Aug. 1, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled in favor of a coalition of nine conservation organizations, led by the Friends of the Columbia Gorge, invalidating rules adopted in 2017 by the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC). The decision is expected to invalidate two, among others, controversial power projects – the Perennial Wind Chaser Station in Umatilla County and the Summit Ridge Wind Farm in Wasco County. “Our conclusion is that none of the amendments applied for since that 2017 . . . Complete story »


August 5, 2019 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

State improperly shut the public out of deciding where to place energy facilities

The Oregon Supreme Court this week made it harder for energy companies to site facilities where opponents don’t want them—including, possibly, a long-proposed wind farm along the Deschutes River near the Columbia Gorge. As the state continues its transition away from fossil fuels, the siting of energy facilities will likely be increasingly contentious and so the decision provides important leverage for the public. The court ruled in favor of nine conservation groups who argued that the state agency responsible for . . . Complete story »


August 4, 2019 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Oregon Supreme Court ruling could nix permits for big energy projects

PORTLAND – An Oregon Supreme Court ruling could bring an end to permits for two big energy projects in Eastern Oregon and eight more statewide. The Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council in October 2017 adopted a swifter, less public method to amend permits, or site certificates, for wind farms, thermal power plants and other large energy facilities. While the traditional “type A” review process involved public notices and hearings, the new “type B” process cut out the public involvement, including allowing . . . Complete story »


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