Sponsored by Forest Grove Economic Development
Home Archives October 2008 State energy officials tilting at windmills

State energy officials tilting at windmills

| Print |  Email
Wednesday, October 01, 2008

BURNS Concerned about a proliferation of wind farms just small enough to fall outside of its jurisdiction, the state Department of Energy has notified Harney County that it wants to examine several recently approved wind-generation projects to see if they should be considered as one “energy generation area” and come under the jurisdiction of the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC).

One environmental group is pleased, one county judge is frustrated. The state says it is not trying to stop the projects but wants to make sure any cumulative impact is addressed.

Harney’s planning commission recently approved three separate 104-megawatt projects by developer Columbia Energy Partners of Vancouver. Columbia’s fourth project, at Mann Lake, is also 104 megawatts and already permitted. “For business reasons it makes sense to do it in 100-megawatt increments,” says Chris Crowley of Columbia Energy. “These are different projects with different financing and transmission issues.” Currently, there is no transmission capacity to run power out of the three proposed projects.

“This isn’t just about Harney County,” says Diana Enright, assistant director of the state’s renewable energy division. “We are working with all counties that are developing small wind farms.” The energy council was to meet in late September to consider the issue.

“I would like to work with the state and use their expertise, but we have statutory authority to do this,” says Harney County Judge Steve Grasty. “The developer has been on this a long time, and this is the first glimmer of hope for job creation in this county.” Grasty says about 35-60 permanent jobs would be created by the four projects.

“EFSC is a more time-consuming and costly process,” says Crowley. “A good county process can lead to the same result.” Crowley in late August asked for a continuance so he could talk to environmental groups about their concerns.

Dave Becker, staff attorney for the Oregon Natural Desert Association, says he considers Columbia’s four projects as one 400-megawatt project that was split to get around state review. He says the applications have insufficient detail about the environmental impact of the wind turbines, which would be near wilderness and wildlife refuge areas that are major flyways for migrating birds.

Enright emphasizes that state involvement “won’t stop the Harney projects. I spent two days last week in Burns with the judge. We are all working toward the same goal. The state wants to develop renewable energy.”

ROBIN DOUSSARD




Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

South Waterfront's revenge

News
Thursday, July 24, 2014
MoodyAveBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Remember the naysayers?  Those who called the South Waterfront aerial tram a boondoggle?  Those who rejoiced at the massive sell off of luxury condos at the John Ross and Atwater Place?


Read more...

Oversight? Or gaming the system?

News
Monday, July 14, 2014
AmazonBY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER

Some people think Amazon’s winking eye logo is starting to look like a hoodwink.


Read more...

Q&A: David Lively of Organically Grown Co.

News
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
OGCLogoBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

Demand for organic food continues to soar: Last year, sales of organic food rose to $32.3 billion — up 10% from 2012. In Oregon, organic produce wholesaler Organically Grown Co. has been championing organic growing methods for four decades.


Read more...

Attack of the Robin Sages

Contributed Blogs
Monday, July 07, 2014
070714 thumb linkedinfakesBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Named after the 2010 experiment by Thomas Ryan, "Robin Sages" are fake social media profiles designed to encourage linking and divulging valuable information.


Read more...

The global challenge

News
Friday, June 27, 2014
062714 thumb globalmarketBY JASON NORRIS | OB BLOGGER

Over the last several months we have seen a wave of cross-border acquisitions, primarily U.S.-based companies looking to purchase non-U.S.-based companies. There are a few reasons for this, but the main culprit is the U.S. corporate tax system. The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.


Read more...

Trends in business succession

News
Thursday, July 03, 2014
TrendsBY TED AUSTIN & MIKE BAELE | GUEST CONTRIBUTORS

The Office of Economic Analysis announced that Oregon is currently enjoying the strongest job growth since 2006. While this resurgence has been welcome, the lingering effects of the 2008 “Great Recession” continues to affect Oregon businesses, especially with regard to estate planning and business succession.


Read more...

OB Video: Building trade ties with the EU

News
Monday, June 16, 2014
BritEmbCampionBY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

The Oregon economy could get a boost from a new trade agreement being negotiated between the U.S. and the European Union.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS