Home Back Issues May 2010 Wind farm construction puts stress on eastern railway yard

Wind farm construction puts stress on eastern railway yard

| Print |  Email
Articles - May 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
DSC_0014
P1000175
Officials want to expand Shutler Station, which is congested by wind farm construction (top); wind turbine parts are stored at Shutler Station (bottom).
PHOTOS COURTESY OF ERIK ZANDER

New wind farm construction is straining the capacity of Shutler Station Industrial Park to the point that Gilliam County officials are asking for a state grant for additional railway track.

The industrial park, which is eight miles south of Arlington, is being used as a “wind distribution center” for turbine parts for Shepherd’s Flat and Leaning Juniper wind farms. Wind companies are transporting parts to the construction site via rail instead of trucks because it is cheaper. Hillsboro-based Morgan Industrial, a heavy industrial-machine mover, has been leasing 15 of Shutler Station’s 90 acres since August 2009. It unloads turbine parts as they come in on rail, stores them, and later transports them to the construction site.

Shutler Station currently has 5,900 feet of rail track. Trains transporting wind parts are at least 6,000 feet long. “Right now, we don’t have enough rail to accommodate the larger size trains,” says Erik Zander, the distribution center’s project manager.

Gilliam County is applying for a $635,600 ConnectOregon grant to build an additional 2,250 feet of track. The grant is administered by the Department of Transportation, and will be awarded in August.

“I reviewed nine or 10 projects,” says Clark Jackson, a state business development officer for Gilliam County. “I felt that the job potential ranked it up to one of the highest ones.”

Jessica Bates, Gilliam County’s economic development officer, says construction of the new track could be completed by next spring. Bates believes the project eventually will go forward despite the recent nationwide moratorium on wind farm consruction by the Federal Aviation Adminstration because of military concerns.

The additional track could bring more economic activity unrelated to wind farms. Bates says that any construction south or east of Arlington uses Shutler Station. Gilliam County commissioner Dennis Gronquist says the additional track would make the industrial park more valuable. Rock, wheat and other commodities could be transported out of Gilliam because of the additional rail. “We’re pretty limited right now, but we hope to grow,” he says. 

AMANDA WALDROUPE
 

More Articles

Fly Zone

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE

The black soldier fly’s larvae are among the most ravenous and least picky eaters on earth.


Read more...

The 100 Best Companies survey is open

News
Friday, October 24, 2014

100-best-logo-2015 500pxw-1How does your workplace stack up against competitors? How can you improve workplace practices to help recruit and retain employees? Find out by taking our 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon survey!


Read more...

Semiconductor purgatory

News
Monday, October 06, 2014
roundup-logo-thumb-14BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Intel's manufacturing way station; Merkley's attack dog; Diamond Foods gets into the innovation business.


Read more...

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.


Read more...

The short list: 5 hot coffee shops for entrepreneurs

Contributed Blogs
Friday, November 14, 2014

CupojoeBY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Oregon entrepreneurs reveal their favorite caffeine hangouts.


Read more...

I Know How You Feel

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Most smartphones come equipped with speech recognition systems like Siri or Cortana that are capable of understanding the human voice and putting words into actions. But what if smartphones could do more? What if smartphones could register feeling?


Read more...

Shifting Ground

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE

Bans on genetically modified crops create uncertainty for farmers.


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