Articles from Oregon

Echoes of Solyndra in Oregon wind farm probe

In contrast, federal officials didn't seem to have much doubt that the Shepherds Flat project would progress. Still, The Oregonian cited an email from Jim McCrea, a credit adviser in DOE's loan program office, suggesting heavy interest from the White House to make a decision on Shepherds Flat. "Pressure is on real heavy on SF due to interest from VP," McCrea wrote to a contractor in September 2010.
23 Jul 2013

Shepherds Flat developers took full advantage federal, state and local taxpayer subsidies to fund the $2 billion wind farm

In the end, Caithness sold its three tax credits at a discount to WalMart and Comcast. The extra cash from the sale of the wind farm's second and third tax credit will generate less than 0.7 percent of its price. "These tax credits would not have made a whit of difference in the construction of this project, and yet $20 million would make an extraordinary difference to the people of Oregon," said Lynn Frank, former director of the state Energy Department.
21 Jul 2013

Oregon Energy Department decides Shepherds Flat deserves 3 tax credits, $30 million; rules say otherwise

The Oregon Department of Energy ignored its own rules, legislators' intent and taxpayers' interests in reaffirming its decision to define Shepherds Flat wind farm as three separate facilities and provide its owners three separate $10 million tax credits. ..."What is clear, without question, is that they have sought how to qualify it, not how to disqualify it. Any reasonable person looking at the project would have denied the application."
20 Jul 2013

Wind farm proposals spur debate

A standing-room only crowd attended a Baker County Planning Commission meeting Tuesday concerning two wind farms that could be built near Huntington and Lime. The meeting lasted more than four hours. Dozens of residents spoke about the proosals, and most opposed new wind farms.
17 Jul 2013

Wind farms touted as 'green' energy source but have impact on birds

Touted as a green solution to feed our nation's hunger for energy, wind farms are also blamed for killing millions of birds. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates 440,000 birds are killed nationwide each year by wind farms. The number is expected to reach one million per year by 2030. ..."What we don't want to be 10 - 15 years down the road is like the dams, another clean cheap form of energy that turns out to have huge impacts on salmon. It's very hard to go back and retrofit facilities once they're on the ground."
2 Jul 2013

NW wind industry slows

You might have seen wind turbines springing up all over the Northwest in the past decade. This year, the region's wind industry has faced a different story. Not a single new wind farms is under construction in the Northwest.
26 May 2013

Renewable energy initiative approved for signature gathering

An initiative that would allow utilities to count all hydroelectric power toward renewable energy requirements was approved this week for signature gathering. The initiative seeks to alter renewable portfolio standards approved in 2007 ...The law prohibits large utilities from counting hydroelectric power generated by dams built before 1995 towards the standard.
16 May 2013

BPA plan would share costs of wind-power shutdown

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) this week released a new proposal to share the "oversupply costs" that pile up when there is not enough demand for all the electricity produced by hydroelectric dams and wind-power producers. During these oversupply periods, when wind-power producers may be asked to shut down, the plan would compensate them for lost revenue, according to Doug Johnson, a BPA spokesman.
18 Apr 2013

Oregon Energy Department re-evaluating $30 million in tax credits to wind farm

The developer of the mammoth wind farm, New York-based Caithness Energy, went though the legal exercise of subdividing the project on paper to qualify for three separate, $10 million state subsidies. The Energy Department approved them in the last six months, despite sufficient evidence in two of its own analyses to define the wind farm as a single facility, deserving only one tax credit.
9 Mar 2013

Oregon reviewing tax credits for wind farm; Giveaways have drained funds from other services

The state Department of Energy is reviewing whether a major wind farm in north-central Oregon should have received $30 million in tax credits. Officials decided to re-evaluate their recent approval of the tax breaks for the Shepherd's Flat wind farm after The Oregonian newspaper raised questions about whether it should have qualified for them.
25 Feb 2013

Ralls can question U.S. over forced wind farm sale, judge say

Jackson threw out the bulk of Ralls’s lawsuit against the Obama administration, which focused on whether the president exceeded his power by ordering the company, an affiliate of China’s Sany Group Co., to sell the wind farm assets. “The statute expressly authorizes the president to do what he deems necessary to accomplish or implement the prohibition."
23 Feb 2013

Wind power surpasses hydro for the first time ever in Northwest region

Last Tuesday morning, wind farms plugged into the Bonneville Power Administration's transmission network hit a new generation record of 4,289 megawatts. In fact, earlier the same morning, wind farms exceeded the output of the federal hydroelectric system... there was no brouhaha over excess energy supply as there was last spring. Everyone went about their business and got paid.
26 Oct 2012

Wind-farm debate clouds Steens Mtn. anniversary

This month marks the 12th anniversary of designation of the remote Steens Mountain country of southeast Oregon as a protected area, some of it as federal wilderness. But conservation groups are in court, trying to keep wind turbines and transmission lines off the mountain.
8 Oct 2012

Chinese wind farm group to sue Obama

No one has ever before sued the US president over this type of ruling, but Ralls argues that Mr Obama exceeded his powers ... On Friday afternoon, Obama issued an order compelling the company to sell within 90 days four wind farm sites in Oregon, and to clear all its equipment and structures off the sites within 14 days.
1 Oct 2012

Obama blocks Chinese firm's Oregon wind farm projects

The wind farm sites are all in or near restricted airspace at the Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility in Boardman, Ore. ...The interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States initially recommended against allowing the transaction in July. But only the president can halt an acquisition.
29 Sep 2012
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