Wind Farms in Oregon
Wind power is one of the fastest growing forms of new electricity generation in the U.S., according to the American Wind Energy Association. In recent years, around 40% of all new generation capacity added to the electric grid in the U.S. was from wind power projects. A May 2008 Department of Energy study says wind power can provide 20% of the nation's electricity by 2030.
PGE, the state's largest utility, hopes to shut down the state's only coal-fired power plant 20 years earlier than planned. PGE has natural gas and coal-fired power plants in Boardman and has proposed one or two additional natural gas plants there, if it closes its Boardman coal plant to meet haze-reduction rules or avoid carbon taxes. The 585-megawatt coal fired plant provides enough electricity to serve about 250,000 residential customers. The Vestas V90 is a 3.0 MW wind turbine, so over 200 would be required to produce similar power. But only when the wind is blowing.
About 4 percent of PGE's energy comes from wind farms — mostly the Biglow Canyon Wind Farm, plus power PGE purchases on contract from the Klondike II and Vansycle Ridge wind farms. The Stateline Wind Farm runs along the Columbia River.
- Portland General Electric’s Biglow Canyon Wind Farm is the second-largest wind energy facility in the state. Biglow's 141 Vestas wind turbines produce 275 megawatts of power. The wind farm is located in Wasco County, near The Dallas, an area likely to get further wind development, despite growing community concern about noise and environmental impacts. The $1 billion project was completed in September, 2010. Vestas, the largest wind turbine manufacturer, has its North American headquarters in Portland. Here's a video tour of a Vestas tower at Biglow and Sam Churchill's Flickr photo collection of Bigelow (below).
- Shepherds Flat Wind Farm, the world's largest, received a $1.3 billion loan from the DOE and will employ 400 workers during construction and 35 workers during operation. The 845 megawatt wind farm near Arlington, Oregon, will begin installation of the wind turbines in 2011 and is expected to be fully built in 2012. Built by Caithness Energy, it will supply electricity to Southern California Edison. The wind farm, expected to be the largest land-based wind farm in the world when it is completed, will use 338 General Electric wind turbine, each generating up to 2.5-MW, their largest contract ever.
- In December, 2010, The U.S. Department of Energy finalized a $1.3 billion loan guarantee for the Shepherds Flat wind farm. The power generated by the farm will be sold directly to Southern California Edison through 20-year fixed price power purchase agreements. Construction of the Shepherds Flat Wind Farm is expected to create 400 jobs, with 35 permanent jobs supported on site once its created.
- Eastern Oregon wind farms, especially the Summit Ridge wind farm in Wasco County, have now been thrown into doubt. In September, 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommended that the Oregon Department of Energy allow wind turbines no closer than 6 miles to a golden eagle nest. That has also prompted Portland General Electric to back off its push to buy development rights for a massive new wind farm near Arlington in Gilliam County.
Iberdrola Renewables, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is the second largest provider of wind in the country has 41 wind farms in the United States with an installed capacity of 3,877 megwatts, enough to power close to 1 million average U.S. households. Klondike Wind Power, a subsidiary of Iberdrola Renewables, sells power to the Bonneville Power Administration. Iberdrola's National Control Center in Portland receives data from approximately 800,000 sensors that monitor, weather, power generation and security at Iberdrola facilities around the country.
A SCADA system, supplied by PcVue relays wind speed, wind direction, shaft rotation speed and other data on every wind turbine.
Sales of small wind turbines (100 kilowatts and less) in the U.S. grew from 2,100 units in 2001 to 9,800 units in 2009 (peak has been 10,386 in 2008), according to the American Wind Energy Association. Electrical power is relatively cheap in Oregon (7 cents a kilowatt hour, compared to 29 cents in Hawaii) so often Oregonians who buy small wind turbines, especially for homes, aren't trying to save money but rather to invest in renewable energy and/or attain some energy independence.
As of November 2010, the two largest wind farms are in Texas; the 781.5 MW Roscoe Wind Farm is the largest in the world, followed by the Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center at 735.5 MW. The largest wind farm under construction is the 800 MW Alta Wind Energy Center in California. The largest proposed project is the 10,000 MW Gansu Wind Farm in China.
- hopes to shut down the state's only coal-fired power plant 20 years earlier
- carbon taxes
- The 585-megawatt coal fired plant
- About 4 percent of PGE's energy comes from wind farms
- Biglow Canyon Wind Farm
- Klondike II
- Vansycle Ridge
- Stateline Wind Farm
- along the Columbia River
- Biglow Canyon Wind Farm
- Vestas wind turbines
- The wind farm is located in Wasco County
- [http://djcoregon.com/news/2010/09/08/pge-completes-bigelow-wind-farm/ The $1 billion project was completed in September, 2010
- Here's a video tour
- at Biglow
- Sam Churchill's Flickr photo collection
- Shepherds Flat Wind Farm
- Caithness Energy
- Southern California Edison
- The U.S. Department of Energy finalized a $1.3 billion loan guarantee for the Shepherds Flat wind farm
- Eastern Oregon wind farms, especially the Summit Ridge wind farm in Wasco County, have now been thrown into doubt
- Iberdrola Renewables
- the second largest provider
- an installed capacity of 3,877 megwatts
- Klondike Wind Power
- Bonneville Power Administration
- Sales of small wind turbines
- American Wind Energy Association
- Oregon Wind's small vertical Helyx
- As of November 2010
- Roscoe Wind Farm
- Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center
- Alta Wind Energy Center
- Gansu Wind Farm