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

Preserving the Legacy

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

A New York floral and gift business takes on the iconic Harry & David brand.


Read more...

Back to School

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE

Oregon is home to an abundance of gritty warehouses reborn as trendy office spaces, as well as crafty hipsters turned entrepreneurs. Does the combination yield an equally bounteous office products sector? Not so much. Occupying the limited desk jockey space are Field Notes, a spinoff of Portland’s Draplin Design Company, and Schuttenworks, known for whittling Apple device stands. For a full complement of keyboard trays, docking stations and mouse pads, check out the GroveMade line, guaranteed to boost the cachet of even the lowliest cubicle drone. 


Read more...

Reader Input: Energy Overload

June 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

We asked readers to weigh in on the fossil fuel-green energy equation.


Read more...

Aim High

September 2015
Thursday, August 20, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

We get the education we deserve.


Read more...

Brain Storm

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY CAMILLE GRIGSBY-ROCCA

Can the brave new world of neurotechnology help an OHSU surgeon find a cure for obesity?


Read more...

10 Innovators in Rural Health

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Telemedicine, new partnerships and real estate diversification make health care more accessible in rural Oregon.


Read more...

Flattery with Numbers

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

The false promise of economic impact statements.


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