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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.

July 14, 2017 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Wind farm changing hands

On the brink of construction, a 292-turbine wind farm slated for Umatilla and Morrow counties is changing hands. NextEra Energy, based in Juno Beach, Florida, has purchased the development rights for the Wheatridge Wind Energy Facility and is now working to transfer the project’s site certificate through the Oregon Department of Energy. Wheatridge was pioneered by Ione farmer Jerry Rietmann before the facility sold to NextEra in April, according to documents. One month later, the Energy Facility Siting Council issued . . . Complete story »

May 20, 2017 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Apple’s Oregon wind farm eyes bigger, and fewer, turbines

Fewer but bigger turbines – the most powerful ever deployed in the Northwest – could reduce the footprint and improve the economics of an Oregon wind farm that Apple is counting on for vast amounts of clean energy. Project developer Avangrid Renewables is seeking a permit amendment for the Montague Wind Power Facility that would allow it to use a turbine model with a rotor diameter of 136 meters and generating capacity of 3.6 megawatts. That’s a big step up from the . . . Complete story »

May 11, 2017 • Opinions, OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Protecting the high desert we love

This old man is going on 80, and ever since I rolled into Oregon in ’51 on my beautiful 1947 Harley—and in later years literally soared over the sprawling sagebrush and rim rocks, sharing airspace with eagles—I’ve discovered more and more animals, plants and places and people to keep me busy helping to save. I’ve had the honor and delight to spend hours, days and years sharing the high desert with my family and so many friends in the Fort . . . Complete story »

May 4, 2017 • Oregon, Press releasesPrint storyE-mail story

Research aims to protect eagles from wind turbines

The system will feature a tower-mounted, computer-connected camera able to determine if an approaching bird is an eagle and whether it’s flying toward the blades. If both those answers are yes, the computer triggers a ground-level deterrent: randomly moving, brightly colored facsimiles of people, designed to play into eagles’ apparent aversion to humans. “There’s no research available, but hopefully those will deter the eagles from coming closer to the turbines,” Albertani said. “We want the deterrent to be simple and affordable.” At the root of each turbine blade will be a vibration sensor able to detect the kind of thump produced by a bird hitting a blade. Whenever such a thump is detected, recorded video data from a blade-mounted micro-camera can be examined to tell if the impact was caused by an eagle or something else. Complete story »

April 19, 2017 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Conservation groups cheer ruling against Steens Mtn. wind project

BEND, Ore. – Two conservation groups are cheering a federal court ruling that they say seals the fate of a proposed wind-energy project in a place deemed very special and protected: Steens Mountain in southeast Oregon. Here’s the full text of a news release issued Wednesday by the Bend-based Oregon Natural Desert Association and the Audubon Society of Portland: The long-running case over the impacts of proposed industrial-scale wind energy development on Steens Mountain in southeastern Oregon was put to . . . Complete story »

April 19, 2017 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Federal court kills wind project near Steens Mountain

A federal court has killed a large wind energy project in southeast Oregon over concerns about a declining sage grouse population that needs the area to breed. The U.S. District Court in Portland vacated plans for the project Tuesday, bringing an end to lengthy litigation over the proposal by Columbia Energy Partners. The project proposal was for wind energy development on roughly 10,500 acres of private land in Harney County near Steens Mountain. The project called for 40 to 69 . . . Complete story »

April 8, 2017 • California, Oregon, WashingtonPrint storyE-mail story

BPA stops wind power generation for the first time in four years

Northwest rivers are running high as all that winter snowpack melts into spring runoff. And that means the region is producing too much of a good thing: carbon-free, renewable energy in the form of both dam-generated hydropower along with electricity from spinning wind-farm turbines. That’s prompted the federal government to take an action it avoided during the last four years of drought conditions: shutting down wind power. That’s something the Bonneville Power Administration did each spring from 2010 to 2012, . . . Complete story »

March 21, 2017 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Big wind development returning to Oregon with a mystery power buyer

Marking the return of big wind power development in Oregon, Avangrid Renewables plans to break ground in September on the first phase of a 404-megawatt project in Gilliam County. As with the company’s Gala Solar project in Crook County, power from the 202-megawatt Phase I of the Montague project will go to a non-utility mystery buyer. One megawatt can power between 250 and 400 homes. “We do have a signed PPA for Phase I, but they do not wish to . . . Complete story »

January 26, 2017 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

PGE draws fire from all sides in power plan comments

Portland General Electric’s plan to meet its future power needs came in for the expected pummeling from environmentalists and industrial users on Tuesday, and drew skepticism from Oregon Public Utility Commission staff. In the first round of comments on the integrated resource plan, PUC staff questioned the utility’s capacity needs, called its plan vague to the point of being “problematic,” and said its “portfolio construction and overall analysis seems to be weighted toward long-term assets.” That asset, in the view . . . Complete story »

December 10, 2016 • OregonPrint storyE-mail story

Eastern Oregon wind project plans taller turbines

A planned wind project in Sherman County could have fewer but larger wind turbines and still produce the same expected 400 megawatts under proposed changes before a state siting agency. Golden Hills Wind Farm, a subsidiary of Oakland, California-based Orion Renewable Energy Group, had sought to build the Golden Hills Wind Project as a 400-MW facility with 267 turbines on private land in northern Sherman County between Wasco and Moro. Late last year, the firm asked the Oregon Energy Facility . . . Complete story »

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