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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.

April 20, 2021 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

A proposed power plant near Hermiston may be canceled, but controversy remains

Friends of the Columbia Gorge and other environmental groups are currently challenging the agency’s decision to greenlight construction of the Summit Ridge Wind Farm in Wasco County. They say that project, located along a section of the Deschutes River classified as wild and scenic, would have adverse impacts on raptors and other wildlife. Again, they contend that agency illegally allowed project backers to begin roadwork at the site to meet a construction deadline, avoiding changes its site certificate that would have triggered more public scrutiny and input. Phased construction was never contemplated in the original permit. Complete story »

April 15, 2021 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Despite troubled past, critics say Oregon Department of Energy is ignoring rules to benefit power plants

Earlier this month, several conservation groups filed for judicial review of the department’s actions on the Summit Ridge Wind Farm in Wasco County. Among other things, they claim the department allowed backers of that project to make improvements to a private road to demonstrate that it had satisfied “phase 1” construction requirement on that facility. “No statute or regulation authorizes ‘phased construction,’” said Nathan Baker, senior staff attorney with Friends of the Columbia River Gorge. Complete story »

February 8, 2021 • Idaho, Oregon, WashingtonPrint storyE-mail story

Tri-City groups leery of $33 billion proposal to remove dams

Neither small modular reactors nor the type of batteries needed for long-term to store wind and solar energy in the Northwest remain under development. Currently, battery storage is available but is generally used for storing electricity for a few hours. The Northwest likely would need new kinds of battery storage to provide constant power for much longer periods, such as winter cold snaps when the wind may not blow for days. “We welcome the advancement of these technologies, but the region’s electric customers should not be made reliant on technological breakthroughs to keep the lights on,” [Kurt Miller, executive director of Northwest RiverPartners,] said. Complete story »

September 15, 2020 • California, OregonPrint storyE-mail story

North Coast’s wind energy could supply state with 4% of its electricity needs

California’s North Coast, along with southern Oregon, has the strongest offshore winds in the U.S., researchers say, and could generate approximately 4% of the state’s electricity needs if a larger offshore wind farm was built in a 200-square-mile area about 20 miles off the coast of Humboldt Bay. “It’s quite significant,” Arne Jacobson, director of the Schatz Energy Research Center at Humboldt State University, said at a virtual session presenting the findings of local offshore wind research on Monday afternoon. . . . Complete story »

August 19, 2020 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Avangrid Renewables building Oregon wind farm after deal with Puget Sound Energy

These big renewable energy projects can linger for years, as Golden Hills did, waiting for an energy off-taker to emerge. But climate action, cost trends and the chance to maximize the value of federal incentives are spurring activity these days. Complete story »

June 10, 2020 • Massachusetts, OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Fishermen say Massachusetts, Oregon fail in offshore wind planning

Massachusetts commercial fishing groups objected to a proposed $19 million fund to compensate them for impacts on the industry from the planned Vineyard Wind 804-megawatt offshore wind energy project, saying the plan emerged without adequate input from the fishing community. “As far as we can tell, this plan was developed by Vineyard Wind through private meetings and consultations with officials from Massachusetts government,” the Massachusetts Fishermen’s Partnership wrote in a May 29 to the state Office of Coastal Zone Management, . . . Complete story »

January 18, 2020 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

What a Supreme Court ruling could mean for contested energy projects

Two controversial energy projects in the Columbia River Gorge area could move forward as the result of a ruling by the Oregon Supreme Court. The court’s ruling on Wednesday concerns administrative rules adopted in 2018 by the state Energy Facilities Siting Council, which oversees and imposes conditions on the construction and operation of large energy projects. The rules would have changed the process for the certification of energy sites and drew a challenge by conservation group Friends of the Columbia . . . Complete story »

January 3, 2020 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Giant wind farm nears approval for new, longer blades

In addition to delivering improved energy production, the repowering could qualify the turbines for another round of the federal production tax credit, which lapses after 10 years of operation. Complete story »

December 27, 2019 • Letters, OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Energy Siting Council is not looking out for public, natural resources

I just attended the Energy Facility Siting Council meeting in Pendleton. Following is what I learned: 1. The Oregon Department of Energy and the Energy Facility Siting Council are restoring the amendment rules that the Oregon Supreme Court determined were illegal. They allowed the public to comment but are not going to act on those comments until 2022. That means the public will have no opportunity to object to their decisions for three years. 2. ODOE and EFSC used the . . . Complete story »

December 17, 2019 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Wind energy project possible for eastern Clatsop County

Clatsop County’s comprehensive plan in 1980 included a goal to promote energy conservation and the development of renewables. “Power systems which utilize solar and wind generated energy are well-suited for the northeast county and shall be encouraged to locate here,” the plan stated. Forty years later, a global wind energy company is exploring a project in the hills above the Georgia-Pacific Wauna Mill. WPD Wind Projects, the onshore wind development arm of German company WPD Group, signed a 45-year wind . . . Complete story »

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