Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Oregon
The Umatilla County Planning Commission gave the green light to an Oregon wind farm project in Echo Thursday night. The commissioners voted unanimously to approve a land-use permit for the wind farm's transmission line along Highway 207. The line will carry the project's electricity to a PacifiCorp substation at Hinkle. ...Commissioner Tammie Williams said she sympathized with those who live near the line, but Umatilla County needed the money the wind farm would bring. "It would be a disadvantage to this community not to have that money generated," she said.
Matt Thomas is a car dealer who co-owns several Thomas Sales & Service dealerships in Central Oregon. He's also a wind-power advocate, with hopes of erecting four small windmills on the 320 acres he owns between Bend and Tumalo where he plans to build a home. He's prepared a site and purchased his first turbine. But due to Deschutes County code, his turbine plans are coming up short. ...The minimum height Thomas' turbine can operate at and still generate electricity (wind speed increases farther from the ground) is 33 feet. That's 3 feet over the county's height restriction for structures ...Wind farms, with their giant turbines, are the most visible signs of the growth of wind power, but the fastest-growing sector in wind power is the much smaller, residential-scale market, Stimmel said. Residential-scale windmills produce 2 to 10 kilowatts of energy.
Plans for a controversial wind farm on the hills above Mosier may be faltering. Almost a year has passed since developer UPC Wind first asked state regulators to review the 40-turbine project, which lies within the windy stretches of the Columbia River Gorge. Revisions to the proposal, promised more than six months ago, have yet to materialize. The delays underscore the difficulties UPC Wind faces as it tries to rearrange the turbines so that they're less visible from a federally protected scenic area, but still in breezy enough spots to produce a moneymaking venture. The Massachusetts-based company also is struggling to appease an outpouring of anger from residents near the proposed site, on Sevenmile Hill. So far, opposition remains organized and strong.
Almost a year has passed since developer UPC Wind first asked state regulators to review the 40-turbine project, which lies within the windy stretches of the Columbia River Gorge. Revisions to the proposal, promised more than six months ago, have yet to materialize. The delays underscore the difficulties UPC Wind faces as it tries to re-arrange the turbines so that they're less visible from a federally protected scenic area, but still in breezy enough spots to produce a money-making venture. The Massachusetts-based company also is struggling to appease an outpouring of anger from residents near the proposed site, on Sevenmile Hill. So far, opposition remains organized and strong. "When virtually everyone for miles around says this is a terrible location for a wind farm, you'd think they'd take the hint," said Jim Yuhas, a nearby homeowner.
Residents of Sevenmile Hill have claimed what they call "a major victory" in their bid to oppose construction of a six-mile-long chain of 390-foot wind turbines on the hills above Mosier. Members of the Families for Sevenmile Hill circulated a memo this week from Adam Bless of the Oregon Department of Energy, outlining the results of a Feb. 28 meeting between Oregon Department of Energy and two representatives from UPC. According to Bless: • UPC is considering changes to the project layout. These changes could involve moving some of the turbines from their originally proposed locations, and adding some turbines at new locations instead. • UPC's reason for moving some of the turbine locations is to try and address the public comments.
The Wasco County Court will completely re-hear two related applications by landowners to allow UPC Wind to put meteorological towers on Sevenmile Hill.
The city of Portland could become part owner of a wind farm east of The Dalles if a deal now in the works with Sherman County and the farmers who live there takes hold. Portland officials are pursuing the idea as a means of offsetting the city government's own energy consumption, which is about 50 megawatts a year. ...Commissioner Dan Saltzman, whose office is leading the negotiations, said while green power generally costs more, the plan ideally would enable the city to meet its renewable energy goal without increasing its energy bill. He expects the investment to pay for itself in about 10 years and that the city ultimately could draw revenue from the project.
Electricity is so cool. Always there for us, at the flick of a switch. But where, exactly, does it come from? And what gets hurt on its way? When deciding how to generate power, this much is clear. Oregonians don't like nukes. Too scary. And they don't like coal. Too dirty. They're not even sure about liquefied natural gas. What is that stuff, anyway? Hydro? Sure, Oregonians used to like hydro. But that was then: before salmon started disappearing by the gazillion. This is now: We're tearing out dams, not building new ones. But wait, here comes the answer: blowing in the wind. Make that in the safe, reliable, clean, green, free, fish-hugging wind. We all love windmills, right? But hang on there, Bub. What about loving windmills in your backyard?
Now a Massachusetts company wants to catch the wind that whips across the ridge between Mosier and The Dalles. The Cascade Wind Project proposed by UPC Wind Partners is the first to reach into a rural Oregon community. Predictably, the 389-foot towers have riled the locals. Yet the clash goes deeper than a spat between neighbors and a developer. The northern cluster of Cascade Wind's turbines would brush the boundary of the federally protected Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. That sets up a conflict between Northwest values, pitting a revved-up desire to advance clean, renewable energy against the long-held belief that rural and scenic areas deserve special care.
Residents of Sevenmile Hill got a chance to tell their story directly to members of the Energy Facilities Siting Council of the Oregon Department of Energy Thursday night, and they made the most of it. Of the 35 people who spoke about UPCs proposed Cascade Wind project, 31 expressed their disapproval in various shades of firmness.
Pacific Power has asked regulators in Wyoming for approval to install 66 wind turbines capable of generating 99 megawatts of electricity at a former coal mine. The Glenrock Wind Energy Project would be constructed at Pacific Power's former Dave Johnston Coal Mine, a surface coal mine that operated for 40 years until it shut down in 2000. The nine-mile site has since been restored to its original appearance.
An application to site a 40-tower, 60-megawatt wind farm on Sevenmile Hill, west of The Dalles, was deemed incomplete last week by the Oregon Department of Energy (ODE) and returned to its authors with a request for supplemental information in key areas of concern. In a letter mailed June 7, ODE informed UPC Wind Development, LLC, the company behind the proposed Cascade Wind Project, that it had until June 20 to submit a date by which a complete application would be submitted. According to ODE's Adam Bless, "no one has ever submitted a complete application on the first try," so this wrinkle doesn't come as a great shock to those close to the process.
A group of residents in The Dalles area has come out against a proposed wind farm along the nearby ridges of the Columbia River Gorge. Wind farms are popping up throughout the Gorge, but this is the first time any notable opposition has arisen in Oregon.
The Oregon Department of Energy has issued a public notice of a proposed order for Biglow Canyon Wind Farm. The ODE is recommending a change be made to Condition 9, which deals with site restoration if the facility ceases to operate in the future. Although Biglow Canyon Wind Farm is obligated to restore the site, Condition 9 ensures that funds are available to the state to restore it.
Neighbors weren't shy Wednesday night about their feelings on the proposed Cascade Wind Project on Sevenmile Hill; they don't want it and they want to know how to keep it out. Close to 100 people crowded into the Fireside Room at The Dalles Civic Auditorium, where fewer than half that number had been expected. The dominant, and vocal, viewpoint expressed was opposition.
A public meeting is planned Wednesday, May 2, at 7 p.m. at The Dalles Civic Auditorium to discuss the Cascade Wind Project proposed on Sevenmile Hill by UPC Wind Development LLC. The Oregon Department of Energy is holding this public information meeting to help people understand the process, to answer questions, and to hear comments. The applicant's representatives will be there as well.
VALE - Wind turbines reaching 400 feet into the air are not a normal sight along the high desert plains of Eastern Oregon, but as the federal government continues to provide enticing grant options to entrepreneurs in the state, that form of clean energy technology could become more common locally. One case in point is a recent decision by the United States Department of Agriculture regarding a grant for a feasibility study for a 10 megawatt family wind farm in Vale.
Despite their concerns about impacts specific to the Sevenmile site, the second part of the Casdays' presentation showed that their opposition to wind power has evolved beyond the "not-in-my-back-yard" phenomenon. "We started out as NIMBYs," Gary Casady admitted to the court, employing a term that is used pejoratively to refer to those who oppose development only when it happens near their property. However, Casady said, after reading thousands of documents and doing extensive research on the internet, the pair has come to the conclusion that many of the positive claims made by the wind power industry need to be questioned.
UPC Wind filed a site certification application with the Oregon Energy and Facility Siting Council (EFSC) Wednesday to build a 60- megawatt wind farm on Sevenmile Hill west of The Dalles.
A Massachusetts-based company has filed an application for a 60-megawatt wind farm near The Dalles. UPC Wind expects the Oregon Energy and Facility Siting Council to grant certification by early next year. This means commercial wind farm operations could be in place by the end of 2008.