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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 are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.

December 17, 2017 • Oregon, WyomingPrint storyE-mail story

Regulators bless PGE, PacifiCorp renewable energy plans

After months of back and forth, Oregon’s Public Utility Commission gave its blessing this week to both Portland General Electric’s and PacifiCorp’s plans to acquire more renewable energy, albeit with a variety of conditions designed to protect ratepayers. The companies approached the commission in 2016 and earlier this year seeking acknowledgment of resource plans that included major additions of generating capacity. PGE’s proposal focused on making up for the loss of capacity at the Boardman coal plant, scheduled to close . . . Complete story »

December 15, 2017 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Energy Department and council under fire for cutting out public

Irene Gilbert, a La Grande resident and researcher for the Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley, has opposed numerous windfarms in Eastern Oregon based on their impacts on wildlife, wetlands, noise levels, and their visibility from towns or areas designated as wild and scenic. She says the council, at the recommendation of the Energy Department, has denied every one of her requests for a contested case. By her count, the council has rejected more than 80 requests for contested cases and not granted a single one. Complete story »

November 16, 2017 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

More Gorge wind dealing: Avangrid Renewables adds 400MW project to its pipeline

Avanagrid Renewables, which already has nearly 1,300 megawatts of operating wind power in the region and is building a big project that will sell its output to Apple, has acquired a permitted but unbuilt project in the Columbia River Gorge. But don’t count on the 400-megawatt Golden Hills Wind Farm breaking ground soon. With the acquisition from Orion Renewable Energy Group, Avangrid Renewables is asking state regulators to extend the deadline for beginning construction on the Sherman County project from . . . Complete story »

November 7, 2017 • Oregon, WyomingPrint storyE-mail story

How tax reform could torpedo Pacificorp’s big wind power plan

Tax reform, the big issue on Capitol Hill these days, could spell trouble for PacifiCorp’s bid to spend billions on wind power in the next three years. The Portland-based utility’s “Energy Vision 2020” proposal calls for 999 megawatts of retooled wind turbines in several states including Oregon, 1,270 megawatts of new wind in Wyoming, and a 140-mile transmission line also in Wyoming, all at cost of around $3.2 billion. The proposal is built around an expiring federal incentive called the . . . Complete story »

October 14, 2017 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Regulators wrestle with PGE, PacifiCorp over billions in new renewables

Portland General Electric is downsizing its ambitions and PacifiCorp is facing vigorous opposition as Oregon regulators continue to wrestle with plans by the investor-owned utilities to spend big money on new renewables. The regulator qualms, shared by some stakeholders, aren’t with renewables so much as the utilities’ desires to make massive investments in the next few years. PGE, rebuffed on a potential $1 billion wind power buy two months ago, on Tuesday outlined a “new path forward” to the Public . . . Complete story »

October 12, 2017 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

PacifiCorp facing regulatory blowback on wind power plans

Staff advisers at Oregon’s utility regulator threw cold water on PacifiCorp’s plan to spend $3.5 billion, one of its biggest upgrades ever, on wind turbines and a new transmission line. The Public Utility Commission staff say the utility had failed to justify the need for the massive capital investments, whether to meet its capacity, energy or reliability needs. PacifiCorp is seeking state regulators’ blessing for what it calls “Energy Vision 2020.” Approval from the regulators would provide greater assurance that . . . Complete story »

September 19, 2017 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Eastern Oregon wind power heats up with new project

A Canadian company says it’s ready to pursue a big wind power plant in Umatilla County, not far from where the nation’s largest generator of renewable energy wants to build its own major wind farm. Capital Power Corporation this month filed a notice of intent with the state’s Energy Facility Siting Council to seek a site certificate for the Nolin Hills Wind Power Project, capable of producing up to 350 megawatts of power. It would be located about 10 miles . . . Complete story »

September 1, 2017 • Oregon, Press releasesPrint storyE-mail story

Oregon’s Energy Facility Siting Council takes on changes to its amendment processes

How do you increase opportunities for public participation in a process without adding significant time and complexity? That is the issue Oregon’s Energy Facility Siting Council has been grappling with over the past few years as it looks to update its administrative rules for making amendments to the site certificates issued for large-scale energy facilities. Site certificates are the state approval necessary to construct and operate energy facilities. After the owners of such a facility get a site certificate from . . . Complete story »

August 12, 2017 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

State regulators push back on PGE’s green energy plan

Portland General Electric officials entered a meeting in Salem this week intent on persuading state regulators that it makes economic and environmental sense to move quickly on a massive new wind farm to meet the state’s expanded green energy mandates. The utility was already playing defense. Facing intense blowback from environmental advocates, ratepayer groups and regulatory staff, it had abandoned the centerpiece of the resource plan it had submitted to the Public Utility Commission in November. That would potentially have . . . Complete story »

July 19, 2017 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Apple’s Oregon wind farm cleared for super-sized turbines

Regulators have cleared Apple’s Oregon wind power project to use the biggest turbines ever deployed in the Pacific Northwest. Project developer Avangrid Renewables said it hasn’t made a final decision on the machines it will use at the Montague Wind Power Facility, but regulators last week granted a site-certificate amendment that allows for turbines with rotor diameters of 136 meters and generating capacities of 3.6 megawatts. The biggest turbines in the region now top out around 100 to 110 meters . . . Complete story »

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