Whether a wind farm gets built off the coast of Coos Bay depends on Oregon utilities' willingness to sign on — and so far, the cost of Principle Power's project has been a deterrent. In May 2014, Principle Power crossed a huge hurdle, receiving up to $47 million in matching grant funds from the U.S. Department of Energy over four years.
Articles filed under Offshore Wind from Oregon
Jeff Bissonnette, policy director for the Citizens’ Utility Board and a registered lobbyist, said perhaps there might be other ways the state could support the project so ratepayers would not directly shoulder as much of the financial burden. Bissonnette reiterated comments by utility representatives that rates should not be used to pay for research and development projects, nor for economic development.
Principle Power, a Seattle-based company, needs a guaranteed stream of money from Oregon ratepayers to move forward with an offshore wind project.
A bill in the Oregon Legislature’s current session would have required the state’s two big investor-owned utilities, Pacific Power and Portland General Electric, to buy WindFloat’s ouput, with the above-market costs flowing through to ratepayers. But the utilities wanted no part of it and the bill went nowhere. The DOE has said developers can’t continue on the funding track without a power off-take agreement, and all three projects are facing an end-of-July deadline to report on their progress.
A Seattle company is being given the green light to develop plans to build the West Coast's first offshore wind energy farm. The 30-megawatt pilot project was announced at a press conference by Gov. John Kitzhaber. "It's not going to be economic out of the gate," Beaudreau said. ..."We're hoping to learn from this... whether it justifies wrecking prime fishing ground, displacing people and jobs."