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|Articles - December 2011|
|Tuesday, November 15, 2011|
Page 2 of 4
This pursuit on Oregon lands is part of a national trend. So far, the race to the 10,000-megawatt finish line includes hopeful plans for 12,500 megawatts in solar projects (about 100,000 acres) in the nation’s southwest.
In Oregon — blessed with windy gorges and ridges and cursed by limited transmission in the sunny south — it is wind that is the advancing force. That flat, breezy places along the ready-wired Columbia Gorge are locked up has pushed companies east of the Cascades. There, much of BLM’s 15.7 million Oregon acres are singing opportunity. Wind developers were sleuthing conditions on 177,739 acres in mid-October, testing for possible development. Meanwhile, construction was wrapping up on the first wind farm to be built, the 3.5-megawatt Lime Wind project in Baker County.
In the 12 Western states with lands managed by BLM, there are 47 wind farm proposals on 384,722 acres. Another 169 sites are being tested for wind speeds, 16 in Oregon, making the state the sixth most active for wind development. Projects are under construction on 33,632 public acres nationally. In addition to the recent approval of the West Butte Wind Power Project’s access road and Lime Wind, Spain-based EDP Renewables (formerly Horizon Wind Energy) envisions a 500-megawatt wind farm on Burnt River. The company also plans another wind farm on Pueblo Mountain. Oregon Community Wind, a Portland-based developer focused on small-scale projects, is pursuing a 9-megawatt farm 15 miles east of Lakeview.
“There’s been a rush on developing alternative energy and cashing in on incentive markets,” says Brett Brownscombe, natural resource policy adviser for Gov. John Kitzhaber. But while development moves forward, the rules for siting wind projects, particularly in sensitive habitats, are being made up as projects move along, prompting concerns about whether resource protections for wildlife will keep pace.
In 2009, former Gov. Ted Kulongoski convened a group under the Oregon Solutions umbrella to reconcile the call for energy leases with the state’s energy and wildlife priorities. That conversation continues today, involving seven government agencies and other stakeholders.
“As we continue to think about renewable energy and the need for transmission facilities that will go with that, do we want to continue mitigating on a site-specific basis?” asks Pete Dalke, an Oregon Solutions program manager who coordinates the meetings. “Or do we want to look across Eastern Oregon and look at whether there are key areas of habitat that we want to build upon by preserving it and restoring it and expanding on it?”
Friday, February 28, 2014
The 21st annual 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon list was announced Thursday night at an awards dinner at the Oregon Convention Center.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY SOPHIA BENNETT
The coastal town of Coos Bay appears poised to land every economic development director’s dream: a single employer that will bring hundreds of family-wage jobs and millions in tax revenue.
Friday, April 11, 2014
TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
The auto industry is starting to share more costs across manufacturers for complex and challenging design work, like new transmission design, and certain new engine technologies. What we’re not yet seeing is wholesale outsourcing of “unavoidable waste” components to specialist companies.
Friday, March 28, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
The next mysterious (or disastrous) event could be one that you or your team might suddenly need to respond to, probably under intense scrutiny.
Friday, April 04, 2014
BY ERIC FRUITS
The rapidly rising cost of higher education has left even the smartest researchers and the wonkiest of wonks wondering what’s happening and where’s all that money going. More and more, prospective students—and their families—are asking: Is college worth the cost?
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Our 100 Best Companies project turned 21 this year, so pop open the Champagne. Our latest survey gives us plenty to cheer.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN
Kelly Dachtler, president of The Clymb, redefines outdoor retail.
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