OREGON TO GET WORLD'S LARGEST WIND FARM
The Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) today approved a site certificate for the 909 megawatt (MW) Shepherds Flat Wind Farm. Located in Gilliam and Morrow counties, Shepherds Flat will double Oregon's current wind operating capacity of about 889 MW.
"This is a tremendous day for renewable energy in Oregon," says Michael Grainey, Director of the Oregon Department of Energy, which is staff to the EFSC. "With the Council's unanimous approval we have taken a large step toward meeting Governor Kulongoski's climate change goals by developing clean, renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This also helps meet the Renewable Portfolio Standard requirement of 25 percent renewable electricity by 2025."
The project is being developed by Caithness Shepherds Flat, LLC of Sacramento, Calif., which proposes 303 wind turbines with a peak capacity of 909 MW. Caithness says Shepherds Flat will be the largest single wind farm in the world. The project area is between Highway 19 and Highway 74 on privately-owned land, about five miles southeast of Arlington. The power output of the facility would enter the Federal Columbia River Transmission System through Bonneville Power Administration's Slatt Substation.
EFSC Chair Bob Shiprack says, "This facility is expected to employ 250 to 300 people during construction and have up to 25 operational jobs. This is a boost to economic development in rural Oregon." Annual lease payments to the landowners help supplement farm income, and the wind farm will also provide property tax revenue to Gilliam and Morrow counties.
Other renewable energy projects currently be reviewed by the Oregon Department of Energy include the 400 MW Golden Hills Wind Farm in Sherman County and the 143 MW Newberry Geothermal Project in Deschutes County.
Currently, the largest operating wind farm in the U.S. is Horse Hollow in Texas at 736 MW. Businessman /Investor T. Boone Pickens plans to build the world's largest wind farm by 2014 at 4,000 MW. It would also be located in Texas.
Source: Oregon Department of Energy
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