Oregon, U.S. risk losing wind jobs to other countries

Oregon, U.S. risk losing wind jobs to other countries


Like the wind itself, the wind energy industry has blown hot and cold in Oregon. Some blame the lack of effort in Congress to extend the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for alternative energy, set to expire in about four months.

The standstill affects businesses like Met One Instruments, Grants Pass, which makes weather sensors and monitoring equipment. Product manager Rob Beckius says wind farms have been good customers - but he worries the U.S. is losing business as developers choose to take it to places where more favorable winds are blowing.

"Now what we're seeing is, a lot of our customers are starting to not really put the brakes on projects, but they're moving into different areas. We see a lot of sales going into Canada right now - just because Canada has a stable energy policy, which is what we're lacking now."

In Oregon, an application is pending to put about 300 more wind turbines in Morrow County in the Gorge. But in Idaho, a developer with plans for three wind projects cancelled them last week, saying they could not be finished in time to make use of the Production Tax Credit before it expires.

Read more in today's Public News Service.