The Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. is known for its coffee shops, never-ending fields of aromatic hops and its affection for the electric vehicle (EV). Portland General Electric (PGE), in Oregon, touts the benefits of the plug-in vehicle with a frequency unmatched by most electric companies. PGE recently opened the nation's first public quick-charging station in downtown Portland, OR and has teamed up with automakers to prepare the Portland area for plug-in vehicles. But PGE's work in the energy industry extends well beyond these obvious moves.
PGE has completed the final production phase of its Biglow Canyon Wind Farm in Sherman County, OR, and all 217 turbines are now spinning to generate power for its customers. Biglow Canyon is PGE's largest renewable energy project to date and offers a total capacity of up to 450 megawatts – due to variable wind speeds, though, the plant is expected to produce an average of 150 megawatts, or about enough to power 125,000 typical homes. Of course, many EVs will also tap into the area's wind power to charge up, which brings the promise of a true "zero-emissions" vehicle that much closer to a reality. Hat tip to evsuperhero!
[Source: Portland General Electric]
PGE's Largest Renewable Energy Project Complete
Oregon's Energy Future Spins at Biglow Canyon Wind Farm
Portland General Electric Company announced the final phase of its Biglow Canyon Wind Farm is complete, and all 217 turbines of the project are available to generate power for PGE customers. Biglow Canyon represents PGE's largest renewable project, with a total installed capacity of 450 megawatts. Given the variability of wind power, the plant is expected to produce an average of around 150 MW -- enough to power the homes of about 125,000 average PGE residential customers.
"Biglow Canyon Wind Farm is an important component of PGE's diverse portfolio of energy resources," said Jim Piro, PGE president and CEO. "We are pleased to have completed construction of this significant project that not only reflects the values of our customers, but also helps PGE meet Oregon's Renewable Energy Standard, which requires us to supply 15 percent of the electricity our customers use from renewable resources by 2015 and 25 percent by 2025."
In 2008, approximately 2 percent of the company's total retail load requirement was provided by wind resources, which included the first phase of Biglow Canyon and the power PGE purchased on contract from the Klondike II and Vansycle Ridge wind farms, both in Oregon. The utility's current Integrated Resource Plan calls for renewable resources to make up approximately 9 percent of the company's total retail load by the end of 2010 with the completion of Biglow Canyon in its entirety and the existing wind power purchase agreements.
"PGE is proud to have completed one of the largest wind projects in the Pacific Northwest -- constructed on time and under budget," Piro said.
The $1 billion project located on 25,000 acres near Wasco in Sherman County, Ore., was built in three phases. Phase 1, completed in December 2007, is comprised of 76 Vestas wind turbines and has an installed capacity of 125 MW. Phase 2, comprised of 65 Siemens wind turbines with an installed capacity of approximately 150 MW, was completed and placed in-service in August 2009. The final phase of the project, completed in August 2010, added an additional 76 Siemens wind turbines and installed capacity of 175 MW to the project.
In addition to providing carbon-free and emissions-free generation of electric power, the wind farm has created jobs, is providing income for local businesses, generating tax revenues for local government, and providing easement payments to landowners.
The Biglow Canyon project was developed by Orion Energy LLC and built, owned and operated by PGE.
About Portland General Electric Company
Portland General Electric, headquartered in Portland, Ore., is a fully integrated electric utility that serves approximately 822,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Oregon. Visit our website at www.PortlandGeneral.com
Safe Harbor Statement
Statements in this news release that relate to future plans, objectives, expectations, performance, events and the like may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such forward-looking statements include statements concerning the future performance of the Biglow Canyon Wind Farm and other expected benefits of the project, as well as other statements identified by words including, but not limited to, "will," "anticipates," "believes," "intends," "estimates," "promises," "expects," "should," "conditioned upon" and similar expressions. Investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, including regulatory, operational and legal matters, as well as other factors that could affect the deployment and successful operation of turbines at the Biglow Canyon project. As a result, actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements included in this news release are based on information available to the Company on the date hereof and such statements speak only as of the date hereof. The Company assumes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Prospective investors should also review the risks and uncertainties listed in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and the Company's reports on Forms 8-K and 10-Q filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, including Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation and the risks described therein from time to time.