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 are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.
Plans to build an offshore wind farm in the waters off Coos Bay appear finished. Principle Power has pulled its request to lease request with the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, according to a filing first noted by the trade publication Recharge. The project had been in dire straits since last fall, when Oregon utilities said power from the proposed 25-megawatt project would be too expensive for them. Principle Power won $4 million in federal funding for the project . . .
Extended federal tax breaks and Oregon’s new law to replace coal with renewable energy have combined to put new pressure on local electric utilities to procure more wind and solar power. Portland General Electric (PGE) and Pacific Power, the two largest electricity suppliers in Oregon, are scrambling to meet the state’s higher renewable energy mandates and take advantage of federal tax breaks before they expire. The result should be less carbon emissions for the environment and lower prices for customers. . . .
The Oregon Department of Energy is backing a proposed 500-megawatt wind farm in Umatilla and Morrow counties, though the project will likely be contested because of its connection to the electrical grid. ODOE staff have recommended approving the site certificate for the Wheatridge Wind Energy Facility in a proposed order Aug. 5. If permitted, Wheatridge would add up to 292 turbines between two main areas — Wheatridge West, located entirely within Morrow County about seven miles northwest of Heppner, and . . .
Wind turbines, bats, birds: The Oregonian/OregonLive printed a graphic showing that far more birds were killed from colliding into windows than into wind turbines. While true, these numbers don’t tell the full story. Wind turbines kill a disproportionate number of raptors, while songbirds are the primary victims of windows. Raptors play a valuable role in controlling rodents that damage crops and spread dangerous human diseases such as plague and hantavirus. Wind turbines are also responsible for the deaths of between . . .
From wind to solar power, there is a huge push for green energy – but it turns out the more we have, the more pollution-causing natural gas power plants we need. That’s the “dirty little secret” in the clean energy game, according to Tom Eckman, senior adviser for the power division at NW Power and Conservation Council. The old saying “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” applies to Oregon’s new green energy law. There are many benefits to green . . .
A federal appeals court has effectively reversed the approval of a large wind energy project in southeast Oregon, citing the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s inaccurate environmental review and possible impacts to the greater sage grouse. A decision released Thursday by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found the BLM review had not adequately assessed the population of greater sage grouse during winter at the proposed Echanis wind energy facility in Harney County. “It’s exactly what we’ve been arguing . . .
A federal appeals court has ruled that the Bureau of Land Management’s review of a controversial wind power project in southeast Oregon “did not adequately address impacts to the greater sage grouse,” throwing the future of the project BLM approved nearly five years ago into doubt. The 25-page ruling issued yesterday by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals adds more fuel for critics who say the Obama administration has rushed to approve wind, solar and other renewable energy projects . . .
The Ninth District Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of the Oregon Natural Desert Association, and rejected a wind turbine project on Steens Mountain in southeast Oregon. The 104-megawatt project would have included energy transmission lines that cut across potential sage grouse habitat within the protected Steens Cooperative Project. Judges rejected the Bureau of Land Management’s earlier approval of the project because the agency didn’t survey habitat to gauge its importance for threatened sage grouse, despite the concern about . . .
Federal regulators did not adequately address whether a proposed wind-turbine project in southeastern Oregon would adversely impact the area’s greater sage grouse population, the Ninth Circuit ruled Thursday. After the Bureau of Land Management approved the proposed construction of the Echanis Wind Energy Project on the state’s Steens Mountain in Harney County, the environmental group Oregon Natural Desert Association sued the government in Federal Court under the National Environmental Policy Act. The BLM’s approval of the project failed to account . . .
A federal appeals court has dealt a serious blow to an already-struggling wind energy project in Oregon’s Harney County that would give local ranchers an economic boost. Though the 100-megawatt wind energy project would have been built on private ranchland, the 12-mile transmission line necessary to connect turbines with the power grid would have to cross public property. That triggered an environmental analysis that has now been deemed unlawful by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, largely due to . . .