Articles filed under General from Oregon

Wind farm developer announces layoffs

Energy company Iberdrola Renewables cited multiple factors for a decision to scale back on new projects. That led directly to layoffs in engineering, construction and development. "The low energy prices and the regulatory uncertainty here in the U.S. are by far the biggest decision makers," says company spokeswoman Jan Johnson.
25 Jan 2012

Blue Mountain Alliance opposes new wind farm

Members of Blue Mountain Alliance, the group appealing the Chopin Wind Project, are preparing for the hearing before the Umatilla County Board of Commissioners on Nov. 28. “As a group of individuals, we meet as we have time and discuss how we’re going to approach the seven items listed in the appeal and prioritize our efforts where we think will be best,” said Norm Kralman, of Milton-Freewater.
18 Nov 2011

America's worst wind-energy project

The subsidies available for wind projects allow Duke to earn returns on equity of 17 to 22 percent. In other words, for all of the bragging by the wind-industry proponents about the rapid growth in wind-generation capacity, the main reason that capacity is growing is that companies such as GE and Duke are able to goose their profits by putting up turbines so they can collect subsidies from taxpayers.
12 Oct 2011

Whistling Ridge wind farm, just outside Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, gets siting plan vote

Critics such as Friends of the Columbia Gorge also contend the company's wildlife and noise surveys were inadequate, and that the minimal amount of energy generated won't be worth the permanent damage ...Five organizations, led by the Seattle Audubon Society, filed this week for regulators to undertake a new analysis of how the project would impact the spotted owl, an endangered species.
6 Oct 2011

Idaho wind projects seek Oregon rates

"This is a blatant attempt to manipulate and avoid the Idaho commission's rates, rules and regulations that are designed to implement PURPA and protect Idaho Power's customers," the company states in its petition to the PUC. The developers argue that the PUC is prohibited by federal law from regulating qualifying PURPA projects.
23 Aug 2011

LUBA hands wind dispute back to Morrow County

The Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals has asked the Morrow County Court to take another look at its decision regarding the Willow Creek wind farm and its neighbors. The court ruled in January that the 48-turbine project near Ione exceeded the state's noise control rule at one nearby home.
11 Jun 2011

Islanders claim turbines devalue homes

A potentially precedent-setting tax assessment hearing began on Wolfe Island on Wednesday for a couple claiming that noise and lights from nearby wind turbines have lowered their property value. Lawyers from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation and the Township of Frontenac Islands are opposing the claim made by islanders Ed and Gail Kenney.
6 May 2011

New rules kick up passionate debate

Severe implored the Umatilla County Commission to consider "the silent majority" of landowners who live near wind projects. They may refuse the developers' ever-increasing offers of money for a noise easement but in the end the turbines come anyway, only a bit farther away.
20 Mar 2011

The cost of green: Huge eastern Oregon wind farm raises big questions about state, federal subsidies

Stacking federal, state and county subsidies is perfectly legal. But the result is that taxpayers who subsidize a project may bear a greater burden for development than the company that profits from it. For Shepherds Flat, for instance, federal, state and local subsidies total more than $1.2 billion, about 65 percent of its $1.9 billion cost, according to a White House memo.
13 Mar 2011

Hundreds turn out for wind farm hearing in Union

A huge crowd filled the seats and spilled out the doorways of the S.E. Miller gym in Union Tuesday night as the Oregon Department of Energy and its facilities siting council held a public hearing on the proposed Antelope Ridge Wind Farm. The energy department heard testimony from anyone who wanted to speak up - and plenty did.
28 Jan 2011

Too much power in the Northwest?

After two stakeholder meetings this fall, BPA announced Dec. 3 it would not pay negative prices. ...Currently, the cost of wind developers' tax credits is broadly shared by taxpayers. But if BPA were to pay negative prices to comply with the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act during high runoff events, the cost burden would be narrowly focused onto BPA customers.
2 Jan 2011

Wind bargaining

"I told them I wouldn't sign any noise easement unless they bought me out," said Richard Goodhead, who retired with his wife, Joanne, to a 106-acre farm in the valley in 1997. At first, Caithness Energy refused his proposal. It hoped he would take a $5,000 check and sign a noise waiver like some of his neighbors. ...A month and several negotiations later, the company changed its tune.
26 Dec 2010
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