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Wind power in Oregon

Wind power in Oregon

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Encyclopedia

The U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

has vast wind energy resources. Many projects are under way, most of them in rural Eastern Oregon
Eastern Oregon
Eastern Oregon is the eastern part of the U.S. state of Oregon. It is not an officially recognized geographic entity, thus the boundaries of the region vary according to context. It is sometimes understood to include only the eight easternmost counties in the state; in other contexts, it includes...

 and near the Columbia River Gorge
Columbia River Gorge
The Columbia River Gorge is a canyon of the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Up to deep, the canyon stretches for over as the river winds westward through the Cascade Range forming the boundary between the State of Washington to the north and Oregon to the south...

.

Legislative actions


Laws passed by the Oregon Legislative Assembly
Oregon Legislative Assembly
The Oregon Legislative Assembly is the state legislature for the U.S. state of Oregon. The Legislative Assembly is bicameral, consisting of an upper and lower house: the Senate, whose 30 members are elected to serve four-year terms; and the House of Representatives, with 60 members elected to...

 in 1999 and 2007 have aimed to encourage both small and large wind projects. Oregon passed a net metering law in 1999 which helped encourage installation of small wind power systems. As of 2008, a handful of Oregonians have installed small-scale wind-power systems to reduce their carbon footprint
Carbon footprint
A carbon footprint has historically been defined as "the total set of greenhouse gas emissions caused by an organization, event, product or person.". However, calculating a carbon footprint which conforms to this definition is often impracticable due to the large amount of data required, which is...

. In 2009, 691 MW of wind-powered capacity was added in Oregon, the fourth biggest increase in the U.S. that year.

Under Senate Bill 838, wind, solar, geothermal and other types of renewable power must account for 25 percent of an electric utility's retail sales by 2025. Intermediate requirements set the standard at 5 percent by 2011, climbing gradually until 2025.

Companies


Vestas
Vestas
Vestas Wind Systems A/S is a Danish manufacturer, seller, installer, and servicer of wind turbines. It is the largest in the world, but due to very rapid growth of its competitors, its market share decreased from 28% in 2007 to 12.5% in 2009...

, the largest wind turbine manufacturer in the world as of 2009, has its North American headquarters in Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

. Iberdrola Renewables, one of the larger wind farm operators, is also based in Portland.

Notable projects


Large wind farms in Oregon
Station Location Capacity (MW) Status Notes
Biglow Canyon Wind Farm
Biglow Canyon Wind Farm
Biglow Canyon Wind Farm is an electricity generating wind farm facility in Sherman County, Oregon, United States. It is owned by Portland, Oregon, based Portland General Electric and began operations in 2007. With the completion of phase 3 of the project it has a generating capacity of 450 megawatts...

 
Sherman County
Sherman County, Oregon
Sherman County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oregon. The county is named for William Tecumseh Sherman, a Union general in the American Civil War. In 2010, its population was 1,765. The seat of the county is Moro. The largest city is Wasco....

 
450 Operational
Klondike Wind Farm
Klondike Wind Farm
Klondike Wind farm is located in Sherman County, east of the small agricultural community of Wasco, in the north-central part of the U.S. state of Oregon...

 
Sherman County
Sherman County, Oregon
Sherman County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oregon. The county is named for William Tecumseh Sherman, a Union general in the American Civil War. In 2010, its population was 1,765. The seat of the county is Moro. The largest city is Wasco....

 
399 Operational
Vansycle Wind Project
Vansycle Wind Project
The Vansycle I Wind Project is a wind farm in Umatilla County, Oregon. It consists of 38 Vestas 0.66 MW wind turbines at the upper end of Vansycle Canyon with a collective nameplate generating capacity of 25.08 MW...

 
Umatilla County
Umatilla County, Oregon
Umatilla County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is included in the 8 county definition of Eastern Oregon. The county is named for the Umatilla River. In 2010, its population was 75,889...

 
124 Operational
Stateline Wind Project
Stateline Wind Project
The Stateline Wind Farm is a wind farm located on Vansycle Ridge, which receives 16 to 18 mph average wind speeds from the Columbia Gorge, on the border between Washington and Oregon in the United States...

 
Umatilla County
Umatilla County, Oregon
Umatilla County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is included in the 8 county definition of Eastern Oregon. The county is named for the Umatilla River. In 2010, its population was 75,889...

 
123 Operational
Shepherds Flat Wind Farm
Shepherds Flat Wind Farm
The Shepherds Flat Wind Farm is an 845 megawatt wind farm under construction in Oregon, United States. The project is located in Eastern Oregon in both Morrow and Gilliam counties, near Arlington. Approved in 2008 by state regulators, groundbreaking came in 2009...

 
Gilliam
Gilliam County, Oregon
-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 1,915 people, 819 households, and 543 families residing in the county. The population density was 2 people per square mile . There were 1,043 housing units at an average density of 1 per square mile...

 and Morrow Counties
Morrow County, Oregon
Morrow County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oregon, on the south side of the Columbia River. It is included in the 8 county definition of Eastern Oregon. The county is named for one of its first white settlers, Jackson L. Morrow, who was a member of the state legislature when the county...

 
845 Under construction


In 2009 General Electric
General Electric
General Electric Company , or GE, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States...

 was awarded a $1.48 billion contract to build the Shepherds Flat Wind Farm
Shepherds Flat Wind Farm
The Shepherds Flat Wind Farm is an 845 megawatt wind farm under construction in Oregon, United States. The project is located in Eastern Oregon in both Morrow and Gilliam counties, near Arlington. Approved in 2008 by state regulators, groundbreaking came in 2009...

. The 845-megawatt project will use over 300 turbines and span across 30 square miles (77.7 km²) of Gilliam
Gilliam County, Oregon
-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 1,915 people, 819 households, and 543 families residing in the county. The population density was 2 people per square mile . There were 1,043 housing units at an average density of 1 per square mile...

 and Morrow Counties
Morrow County, Oregon
Morrow County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oregon, on the south side of the Columbia River. It is included in the 8 county definition of Eastern Oregon. The county is named for one of its first white settlers, Jackson L. Morrow, who was a member of the state legislature when the county...

 in north-central Oregon. Once completed in 2012, it will be the largest wind farm in Oregon.

Capacity



Potential


While originally estimated to have nearly 5,000 megawatts of potential onshore capacity by the American Wind Energy Association
American Wind Energy Association
Formed in 1974, the American Wind Energy Association is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing wind power project developers, equipment suppliers, service providers, parts manufacturers, utilities, researchers, and others involved in the wind industry.With over 2,500...

, a comprehensive update of the wind energy potential by state released in 2010 by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory , located in Golden, Colorado, is the United States' primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated facility; it is funded through...

 showed that Oregon has potential to install over 27,000 megawatts of onshore wind power.

Installed growth


Installed wind power capacity in Oregon has seen large growth in recent years and Oregon now ranks among the top ten states with the most wind power installed. Climbing from 1% in the early 2000s, wind power accounted for 7.1% of total electricity generated in Oregon during 2010.

The following table shows the growth in wind power installed nameplate capacity
Nameplate capacity
Nameplate capacity, also known as the rated capacity, nominal capacity, installed capacity or maximum effect, refers to the intended technical full–load sustained output of a facility such as a power plant, a chemical plant, fuel plant, metal refinery, mine, and many others.For dispatchable power,...

 in MW for Oregon since 1999.
Year Capacity Change % Change
1999 25 0 0.00%
2000 25 0 0.00%
2001 157 132 528.00%
2002 218 61 38.85%
2003 259 41 18.81%
2004 263 4 1.54%
2005 338 75 28.52%
2006 438 100 29.59%
2007 885 447 102.05%
2008 1,067 182 20.56%
2009 1,758 691 64.76%
2010 2,104 346 19.68%

External links