• Sep 17th 2010 at 11:03AM
  • 7
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.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oregon has hydro that they can use to balance out intermittent wind. They will probably end up selling a lot of this power to california where electricity rates are much higher.

      Average residential price in oregon is 9cents per kWh, in california it is 15.5cents per kWh.

      Wind power requires a huge up front investment, but the payback period is becoming reasonable and it gives the utility a hedge against rising fuel prices.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The 10 cents/kwh I estimated is at the point of generation, and would not include distribution costs, taxes and so on, but also would not include zero carbon credits etc.
        The discount rate of 10% is also just a generally accepted sort of figure. Of course with the Fed rate at effectively zero at the moment, perhaps it could be argued that 5% or whatever might be more appropriate.
        The money is being committed for 20 years or so though, and rates can vary. What is more many of the financial negotiations would have taken place some time ago, so it may be as good a guess as any, although 8% might not be a bad guess either.

        I'd guess that they can get the power to the customer at something like 12-15 cents/kwh, before subsidy, but would have to know a great deal more about the costs of distribution and tax there to be more definite.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's why i like living here. We are a small state of ~3 million people, so the government isn't huge and overcrowded like larger states. We also, more often than not, put the environment and liveability issues ahead of the needs of business/industry.

      But on the downside, our economy sucks.

      I think there is a balance most states try to strike, and we are pretty damn far left here.
      • 5 Years Ago
      There is a fierce fight sometime back between PGE and ... well ... everyone else. PGE has one of the worst coal plants around. They have to either close down the plant or spend half a billion on pollution control ...


      Washington has one dirty coal plant too - whose spokesperson interestingly is the Republican leader in the state House of Representatives.


      Ofcourse, when I say close down - they need to eaither close down or implement carbon capture.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree with this poster about shutting down Boardman coal plant. Nice links evnow!

        "“Brinksmanship” is right. PGE has a habit of giving the bird to both federal and state regulators, making frequent upgrades to increase power capacity that have violated federal law for decades. DEQ now offers to let PGE avoid federally mandated pollution controls costing $600 million, by spending only $41 million and closing Boardman early, and PGE whines that this will cause rates to increase by 3.9 percent over the next decade? This is bad? What in life only rises by 3.9% per decade? So what happens if PGE spends the $600 million, and in 2015, the federal government slaps on new pollution controls costing hundreds of millions, or forces early closure due to the countless tons of CO2, mercury and acids Boardman spews? New federal controls are entirely LIKELY. Boardman burns a staggering 300 tons of coal every hour and releases 5 million tons of CO2 and 18,000 tons of sulfur dioxide every year. And the price of coal nearly doubled last year, and is still rising. Boardman’s continued long-term operation has too much risk to be economically rational or environmentally responsible. Take all that money and invest in renewable energy and gas-fired plants. It just makes sense"
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's pretty good. There is often so much BS in the wonderful world of renewables that it is a pleasant surprise to come across something that makes some kind of sense.
      Here are the costs:
      At $1bn for 450MW nominal that is still some $2222MW, a sobering figure compared to some of the nonsense ones that are trotted out.
      However this region has wonderful wind resources, and what is more, unlike, say, in Texas, most of it happens when it is most needed:

      On top of that, in this area of the US I believe that there are excellent hydro resources to back it up.
      Running that through a levelised cost calculator and using their 33% capacity factor, 20 year payback, 10% discount and $30 kw/yr as per the attached notes, you come out to 10 cents/kwh, near as darn it:

      That is a lot more expensive than gas, and it is not too surprising that rates have to go up, but just the same there is nothing silly about the figure.

      Perhaps though proper study of the wind maps for the US shows how daft the idea of using wind power for many areas in the US is.
      Oregon is fortunate that it has everything going for it for wind power.
      Advance Oregon fai! - or is that Australia? :-)
        • 5 Years Ago
        S/be $30kw/yr O & M - oh for an edit function!
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