Klondike Wind Power Plant Dedicated to Growing Renewable Energy
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October 28, 2005
WASCO, Ore. - Public officials, environmental advocates and energy industry representatives joined hundreds of local schoolchildren and their families in north central Oregon to dedicate the state’s newest wind energy farm, Klondike II on Oct. 28, 2005. The ceremony also included the announcement of the $270 million Big Horn Wind Power Project in Bickleton, Wash., and a multi-million dollar agreement between Portland General Electric and the Energy Trust of Oregon.
"The Klondike wind power plant in Oregon and the Big Horn wind power project we are building across the Columbia River in Washington represent major steps forward in the development of renewable energy," said Peter van Alderwerelt, president of PPM WindPower. "The benefits of projects like these are immense – lease payments for farmers, property taxes for communities, jobs on site and in Portland and above all, clean, sustainable wind power for our nation."
Owned by Portland, Ore.-based PPM Energy (PPM), ScottishPower’s (NYSE: SPI) competitive U.S. energy business, Klondike II is a significant expansion of a successful wind farm near Wasco, Ore. Klondike II brings 50 additional GE 1.5 megawatt (MW) turbines to the farm’s existing 16 units for a total of 99 MWs of energy – enough to power 24,600 homes. GE’s 1.5 MW units, among the world’s most utilized with more than 3,500 in operation around the globe, are the largest wind turbines assembled in America.
The 75 megawatts generated by Klondike II is sold to Portland General Electric through a 30-year power purchase agreement. "This agreement is the first major step toward meeting PGE’s goal of including 200 megawatts of renewable power capacity in our portfolio," said Peggy Fowler, PGE’s CEO. "This Klondike wind power is an important addition to our diversified power portfolio."
In support of PGE’s commitment to renewable energy, the Energy Trust of Oregon announced a $12.5 million agreement to aid the company’s efforts to incorporate new renewable power in its portfolio over the next two years. "The development of sustainable power solutions requires long-term partnerships like this one," said Margie Harris, executive director of the Energy Trust of Oregon. "Oregon families can look forward to a bright future, powered by wind farms like Klondike II."
The federal Bonneville Power Administration also noted the growing importance of renewables. "BPA is providing services that harmonize projects like Klondike II with the grid and deliver the power to customers," said Steve Wright, BPA administrator. "This year, BPA doubled the amount of wind connected to our system. Wind is becoming a significant contributing resource to the power system in the region."
The impressive white wind turbines, standing in neat rows on rolling farmland, are each more than 300 feet tall, about the size of a 30-story building. Despite their height and propeller blades that span 250 feet, the turbine footprints take up less than two percent of the total farmland leased for the project.
"We can grow wheat and barley right up to the bases of the turbines," said landowner Gordon Hilderbrand. "And we can get to our crops more easily because of the new roads."
Klondike II is expected to bring an increase of 30 percent, or about $700,000 annually, to the Sherman County general fund. Individual landowners receive royalty payments that range from $2,000 to $4,000 annually for each turbine.
The project will also significantly contribute to local taxes and provide income to landowners. With just 16 turbines, Klondike’s first phase accounted for a 10 percent increase, or $321,200, in Sherman County property taxes during its first year of operation.
"This new infusion of funds will translate directly into real improvements for our schools and county services," said Sherman County Judge Gary Thompson. "This will allow our schools to offer more extracurricular programs and provide an additional revenue stream for years to come."
The Big Horn Wind Farm now under construction near Bickleton, Wash., is expected to be commercially operational in 2006. Located in Klickitat County, approximately 25 miles from Klondike II, the Big Horn project is expected to provide 200 megawatts of electricity using 133, 1.5 MW GE turbines. This site also has expansion potential.
News media seeking sources, may contact:
Art Sasse, Director, Communications & Brand, Iberdrola Renewables, 503-796-7740
Paul Copleman, Media Relations, Iberdrola Renewables, 207-641-2805
Scott Simms, PGE, 503-464-7342 / 503-539-2625 (cell)
Ed Mosey, Bonneville Power Administration 503-230-3000
Mary McCann, GE Wind Energy, 661-301-0400
Rachel Shimshak, Renewable Northwest Project, 503-223-4544
Christine Real de Azua, American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), 202-383-2508
Judge Gary Thompson, Sherman County, 541-565-3416