Articles filed under General from Oregon
Caithness is asking for permission to “repower” the three units of the Shepherds Flat wind farm, which totals 238 turbines in Gilliam and Morrow counties. The Energy Facility Siting Council late last month posted a proposed order backing the move for one of the units, along with draft orders for the other two units.
But Portland-based PacifiCorp said there was one other thing the wind project needed in order to be a winner for ratepayers — it had to be operating by the end of 2020, qualifying it for the full value of a lucrative federal incentive.
The project, originally called the Mud Springs Wind Ranch Project, has been renamed the Pryor Mountain Wind Project. The project changed hands several times before Pacificorp bought the farm from Sunrise Wind Holdings LLC in May. The 114-turbine farm will connect with an existing Pacificorp 230-kilovolt transmission line in Park County, Wyoming. The turbines will reach about 454 feet tall at the high point of the blades.
MORO — In Sherman County, every family gets a gift at Christmastime.
More than a dozen citizens asked the Wasco County Commission April 3 not to submit a letter of support it wrote for the Summit Ridge wind project east of Dufur. The commission opted to table the matter.
The company said in its site amendment filing that it "proposes to update turbine dimensions to reflect current technology it anticipates using for facility construction." Because each turbine would produce more power — up to 4.2 megawatts apiece — the change could allow it to deploy fewer turbines, the company noted.
Avanagrid Renewables, which already has nearly 1,300 megawatts of operating wind power in the region and is building a big project that will sell its output to Apple, has acquired a permitted but unbuilt project in the Columbia River Gorge.
Staff advisers at Oregon's utility regulator threw cold water on PacifiCorp's plan to spend $3.5 billion, one of its biggest upgrades ever, on wind turbines and a new transmission line. The Public Utility Commission staff say the utility had failed to justify the need for the massive capital investments, whether to meet its capacity, energy or reliability needs.
Capital Power Corporation this month filed a notice of intent with the state’s Energy Facility Siting Council to seek a site certificate for the Nolin Hills Wind Power Project, capable of producing up to 350 megawatts of power. It would be located about 10 miles west of Pendleton.
Regulators have cleared Apple’s Oregon wind power project to use the biggest turbines ever deployed in the Pacific Northwest.
Now, the agency is under fire again for ignoring state rules and allowing recipients of its energy tax credits to resell them at firesale prices. Three top managers resigned recently, including the governor's energy advisor and the agency's chief financial officer. Utilities recently sued, claiming the agency was illegally manipulating annual assessments on energy companies to backfill its budget.
A year ago, the feds whittled their way from seven proposed projects, each of which had received $4 million in design and planning support, to a trio that would get as much as $47 million apiece to help fund construction. The goal was to have the projects up and running in 2017, but all three – Fishermen’s Energy in New Jersey, Dominion Virginia Power’s VOWTAP and now WindFloat – are facing potentially fatal cost-related challenges.
Iberdrola Renewables is seeking permission to delay construction of the 404MW Montague wind project in Oregon by two years.
On Feb. 25, Maxwell Woods of the Oregon Department of Energy sent out an email announcing that E.ON Climate & Renewables North America had withdrawn its application for the 76,000-acre Brush Canyon Wind Power Facility that would have had as many as 223 wind turbines — some reaching within 2 miles of Antelope and Shaniko.
Interviews and an examination of thousands of pages of documents show that state officials wrongly awarded millions in state tax credits, turning a blind eye to phony documents. The project also was dogged by an international trade war, a bitter corporate rivalry and a stunning twist that traded high-paid Oregon jobs for prison labor at 93 cents an hour.
“People think there’s some farmer going out and turning these things (wind turbines) on, but it’s actually huge corporations, and my concern is that they are so intent on getting what they want they’re not looking at everything,” he said. “These are tiny dots of towns out here, with no expert city staff or attorneys."
The West Coast, meanwhile, has lost some of its renewable energy luster. It was once one of the fastest growing markets for wind turbines as utilities in Oregon, Washington and California rushed to meet their respective states' renewable energy mandates. But that growth has slowed as utilities achieved initial state targets and California switched its focus to solar.
After months of behind-the-scenes arm-twisting, Oregon legislators gave their initial blessing to a compromise bill that lets small, publicly owned electric utilities off the hook – temporarily -- for required investments in renewable energy projects. PacifiCorp and Portland General Electric initially didn't like that option, as it sets up a two-tiered system for compliance with state mandates and potentially puts them at a disadvantage in attracting energy intensive new customers. But they forced a quid pro quo in the bargain.
The developer of a proposed wind farm in Eastern Oregon is trying to find regional utilities interested in buying the power. Chicago-based Invenergy LLC plans to build as many as 280 wind turbines on private land east of Heppner. The farm could generate 500 megawatts of electricity.
Seeking to curb how much power it must buy from the Stateline Wind Project in Umatilla and Walla Walla counties, the utility earlier this month sued J.P. Morgan Ventures Energy Corp., a branch of New York-based J.P. Morgan, which owns the contract requiring EWEB to buy power from Stateline through 2026.