Deal Watch: Wind power comes to rural Oregon

| Print |  Email
Articles - February 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010

THE ENERGY COMPANY behind what’s being billed as the world’s largest wind farm is from New York. The 338 wind turbines for the facility are coming from a Connecticut behemoth that will have them assembled in Florida. And the power from all their spinning blades will flow straight into California.

Yet it’s north-central Oregon that will likely feel many of the effects of the $2 billion Shepherds Flat wind farm now that Caithness Energy has secured construction approval and placed a $1.4 billion wind turbine order with General Electric Company.

For starters, the 909-megawatt wind farm — effectively more wind energy than is currently produced in all of Oregon — will stretch out over 32,000 acres in Morrow and Gilliam counties. Private landowners involved are expected to see annual lease agreements of about $4,000 per turbine for the project’s first 20 years.

Caithness estimates that Shepherds Flat, whose three component projects have received preliminary certification for the state’s Business Energy Tax Credit, will create more than $16 million in annual economic benefit for Oregon. That includes $2 million annually for Morrow County and more than $5 million to Gilliam from Caithness under the state’s Strategic Investment Program.

The company reports that construction of Shepherds Flat will employ 400 workers; once it’s operational in 2012, it will employ about 35. While that may not seem substantial, it actually isn’t bad for a county like Gilliam, where the population stops short of 2,000.

Patricia Pilz, a California wind consultant working with Caithness, has said that the company plans to rely on local contractors and suppliers during construction. And already, several new aggregate sites that will provide rock for roads and turbine bases are in the works, including the 4GD Land Company’s quarry near Ione.

Such endeavors could also benefit from future wind projects in the area such as a potential 1,000-megawatt farm in Morrow County currently under research by a group called 2MorrowEnergy.

$46M Q1 PacificSource Health Plans (Eugene) Clear One Health Plans (Bend) 12/30
$20M Q1 Flir Systems (Portland) Directed Perception (CA) 12/28
$15M Q1 Rentrak (Portland) Nielsen EDI/Nielsen (NY) 12/15
$12.3M Q1 Fit Dragon International (Asia) Nautilus (Vancouver) 12/9
$3.6M Q1 Murphy Co. (Eugene) Panel Products (Rogue River) 12/10
$1.4B (wind turbine purchase for Oregon wind farm) General Electric (NY)/Jeffrey Immelt Caithness Energy (NY) 12/11
$200M (revolving credit facility) PGE (Portland)/Jim Piro Bank of America (NC) et al 12/8
$168M (credit facility) Blount (Portland)/Joshua Collins GE Capital (CN) 12/8
$25M (Boardman biofuel plant grant) ZeaChem (CO)/Jim Imbler U.S. Dept of Energy 12/4
$10M (common stock offering) West Coast Bancorp/Robert Sznewajs Shareholders 12/21
$8.9M (electronic records funding) Central City Concern (Portland)/Ed Blackburn Federal government 12/7
$8M (infrastructure upgrade contract) Native American Technology Corporation (Coos Bay)/Wanda Williford Federal Aviation Administration 12/1
$6.2M (ship repair contract) Cascade General (Portland)/Frank Foti Federal government 12/10
$6M (architectural services contract) THA Architecture (Portland)/Thomas Hacker Portland Community College (Portland) 12/21
$5M (investment) Marquam Hill Capital (Beaverton)/NA Oregon Growth Account (Salem) 12/1
$3.9M (donation) PSU (Portland)/Wim Wiewel Fariborz Maseeh (CA) 12/7
$3.5M (venture cash) JanRain (Portland)/Brian Kissel DFJ Frontier CA, RPM Ventures (MI) and Anthem Venture Partners (CA) 12/7
$1.2M (pref. stock financing) Bioject Medical Tech. (Tualatin)/Ralph Makar Signet Healthcare (NY) and Ed Flynn (MY) 12/18
$1M (alumnus gift for exchange program) Oregon State University/Edward Ray Joe Lobbato (Thailand) 12/29
$963,000 (stimulus contract) Crestline Construction (The Dalles)/Ron Schmidt U.S. Dept of Agriculture 12/31
$650,000 (angel investment) Columbia PhytoTechnology(Dallesport, WA)/Mark Savarese Oregon Angel Fund (Portland) 12/15
$650,000 (angel investment) Second Porch (Portland)/Brent Hieggelke Oregon Angel Fund (Portland) 12/15
ND (10 wave energy buoys) Oregon Iron Works (Clackamas)/Robert Beal Ocean Power Technologies (NJ) 12/4
$65M Behringer Harvard (TX) Cyan apartments (Portland)/Gerding Edlen Development (Portland) 12/1
$55M (est) American Pacific International Capital (Portland) 19 floors of the KOIN Center (Portland)/FPS KOIN Center (CA) 12/29
$370,000 Gary/Delores Miller (Aloha) 7,200 sq. ft. warehouse (Forest Grove)/5J's Insulation (Forest Grove) 12/16
$207,500 Tan 205 2,300 sq. ft. retail (Vancouver)/205 Commerce (Vancouver) 12/22
ND Hampton Affiliates (Portland) lumber mill (Warrenton)/Weyerhaeuser (WA) 12/8

More Articles

Leading with the right brain

Tuesday, December 09, 2014
120914-manderson-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

On the eve of the Portland Ad Federation's Rosey Awards, Matt Anderson, CEO of Struck, talks about the transition from creative director to CEO, the Portland talent pool and whether data is the new black in the creative services sector.



Sunday, December 07, 2014

On Friday, Uber switched on an app — and with one push of the button torpedoed Portland’s famed public process.


Top stories in 2014

The Latest
Thursday, December 18, 2014

2014 was a year of wild contradictions, fast-paced growth and unexpected revelations.


Legislative Preview: A Shifting Balance

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014

Democratic gains pave the way for a revival of environment and labor bills as revenue reform languishes.


The short list: 5 companies making a mint off kale

The Latest
Thursday, November 20, 2014
kale-thumbnailBY OB STAFF

Farmers, grocery stores and food processors cash in on kale.


Corner Office: Steve Tatone

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

Seven tidbits about the president and CEO of AKT Group.


Editor's Letter: Power Play

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014

There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace. 

Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.

This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay. 

Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.

New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”

That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!

— Linda

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02