Articles from Oregon
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.
Obama ordered Ralls Corp., a company owned by Chinese nationals, to divest its interest in development rights for the small wind farms -- with just five turbines each --near the Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility. ...Ralls said it would lose the chance for $25 million in federal renewable energy investment tax incentives if the farms weren't running by Dec. 31.
After conducting an investigation, CFIUS issued an order on July 25 citing "national security risks" raised by the sale of the assets to Ralls and directing the company to stop all construction and operations at the wind-farm locations, according to the filing. ...If the wind farms aren't in service by Dec. 31, then the company won't be able to obtain $25 million in federal investment tax incentives, according to the court filing.
Gas prices, the report worries, "may not ultimately rebound to earlier levels as the economy recovers, due to the ongoing development of significant shale gas deposits." The widely held belief that gas will remain cheap for quite some time "puts the near-term comparative economic position of wind energy at some risk, absent further reductions in the price of wind power (and absent supportive policies for wind energy)."
Wind generation accounts for less than 5 percent of the electricity consumed in Oregon. The lion's share comes from hydroelectric dams, natural gas and coal-fired power plants, and much of that power is generated out of state. Likewise, much of the wind power generated in Oregon is under contract with utilities in California.
Election-year politics and a soon-to-expire federal energy tax credit program could stall or scuttle a proposed wind farm on the gusty open bluffs of northeastern Oregon. The Senate Finance Committee voted 19-5 in favor of a one-year, but the Senate and House must make the final decision to renew. Congress has seesawed in its attitude toward the credit, originally part of the Energy Policy Act of 1992.
EPUD has said it was expecting that by late 2011 its customer base would have grown and customers would need that extra power. But they don't, and the California buyer doesn't want it either, meaning EPUD now must keep buying the power from the wind farm at contract rates and sell it on the open market, where prices have plunged, EPUD said.
Wind power, a darling of the renewable energy industry, is getting a push back from ranchers like Davies and conservationists. They worry that the rush to harness wind will have long-term negative impacts on some of America's last unspoiled places. That includes the area around Steens Mountain where impacts to raptors and threatened sage grouse cannot always be fully mitigated.
Residents of Blake Ranch, a small Morrow County community, protested plans Wednesday for a 310 wind-turbine farm. The four stood with signs outside Heppner City Hall, where Chicago-based wind power developer Invenergy, LLC at the second of two public information sessions unveiled its plans for 61,000 acres east of Heppner.
These data centers would push the cooperative into the same RPS classification as the state's two largest investor-owned utilities. Central Electric would then have to begin compliance with the RPS well ahead of its current schedule, creating millions of dollars in additional power costs.
The order forced wind farms along the Columbia River to shut down for about 10 hours during the past weekend. ..."Our folks are working as hard to minimize it, but as the runoff continues, it is certainly possible that it will happen again. It depends on a number of factors: the runoff, what the wind is doing. Certainly what amount of power people are using."
Rancher Hoyt Wilson's remote Mann Lake Ranch headquarters has Steens Mountain's north end for its backdrop. The breathtaking panorama that has gone unchanged since the Western frontier may one day be dominated by dozens of 415-foot-tall wind turbines, part of a $300 million renewable energy project. The project pits spectacular scenery against the production of energy.
The agency, which manages much of the power grid in the Northwest, confirmed it issued the orders during the early morning hours of Sunday and Monday, when demand is low. The action rekindles a dispute from last year, when the agency curtailed wind turbines because the water from a large mountain snowpack.
It's springtime in the Northwest ...Occasionally, it means more hydro and wind electricity is pulsing into the grid than anyone can use. That's a major problem for wind farm owners ...when BPA can suddenly shut down their output to prevent "over-generation." The cutoffs can mean millions of dollars in lost revenue, and put a cloud over further wind development in the Northwest.
Critics argue that Oregonians should not be asked to sacrifice Steens Mountain to a Washington-based, New York-financed company in order to generate electricity for California. ..."It's hard to find a place like Steens Mountain any more.
"Areas like the Boardman Range are few and far between and virtually impossible to create," said John Mosher, U.S. Pacific Fleet Northwest Environmental Program Manager. "The range has great military use right now and into the future."
The Umatilla County Planning Commission denied a permit for the power line Nov. 17, stating WKN should look for alternatives to an entirely new transmission line. WKN appealed that decision Dec. 6 and the board of commissioners, 2-0, denied its appeal Monday. Commissioner Bill Hansell recused himself from the hearing, citing a perception of a conflict of interest.
BPA said the policy, implemented between May and July of last year, resulted in the curtailment of 97,557 megawatt-hours of wind generation, or 5.4 percent of the total wind output connected to BPA's grid, for a loss of $2.15 million in renewable energy credits (REC) and production tax credit (PTC) income.
RICHLAND, Wash. When siting wind farms, it’s all about location. Where wind farms are built can have a dramatic effect on birds.
"Iberdrola Renewables is focusing on operations in 2012 rather than new building due to low energy prices, a poor economy and regulatory uncertainty," Johnson said, adding that the company has a "solid balance sheet, positive cash flow and no real debt."