PPM Announces 100 MW Leaning Juniper Wind Project
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May 24, 2006
PORTLAND, Ore.—PPM Energy, ScottishPower's (NYSE: SPI) competitive U.S. energy business, today announced the construction of the Leaning Juniper Wind Project near Arlington, Ore. Leaning Juniper is expected to be commercially operational later this year.
Located in Gilliam County, approximately 25 miles from PPM's existing Klondike Wind Power Plant, Leaning Juniper is expected to generate 100 megawatts (MW) of electricity. Typically, a 100 MW wind farm can provide clean, renewable electricity to more than 30,000 homes, according to the American Wind Energy Association's calculation.
The Leaning Juniper project will use 67 1.5 MW GE turbines. PPM Energy is in advanced discussions with a customer for the entire output of the Leaning Juniper project. Nationwide, customer demand for wind power is surging as utilities and municipalities add clean, renewable power to their supplies. Wind power can serve as a hedge against volatile fossil fuel prices and has proven to be a reliable, low-cost source of energy.
"PPM Energy is delighted to bring to market clean, renewable wind energy from a fifth Northwest wind project," said Terry Hudgens, PPM Energy's CEO. "Leaning Juniper builds on the community support for Klondike I and II, Big Horn and Stateline, as landowners and customers throughout the region recognize the many benefits of wind energy."
Local Economic Impact
The Leaning Juniper project will support the local economy with property tax payments expected to be in the millions of dollars over the life of the project.
Up to 120 jobs, approximately half of them local, have been created during the construction of Leaning Juniper. The project is purchasing about $1.6 million in local construction materials, such as gravel and concrete, and creating $350,000 of demand for local services, such as food and lodging.
"Oregon has a rich tradition of conservation, and the development of clean, renewable forms of alternative energy is continuing this tradition in the 21st century. The expansion of wind power generation in northeast Oregon is an important piece of the diverse innovation taking place throughout the state," said U.S. Congressman Greg Walden, R-Ore.
"As vice-chair of the House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus and strong supporter of the production tax credits which help bring these projects on-line, I am very pleased to see the use of a readily available resource that is also completely clean and renewable," Walden said. "Increased wind power generation is a wise direction to head if we hope to truly reduce our dependence on oil and keep power costs affordable."
The entire project spans approximately 5,000 acres of buffer lands adjacent to the Arlington landfill, which is operated by Waste Management. However, the actual footprint of the turbines and associated facilities uses less than two percent of the total acreage. Landowners will continue using the remaining land for wheat farming and grazing.
PPM Energy staff have worked to minimize Leaning Juniper's impact on local wildlife. "I believe we created a positive working relationship with PPM Energy on the Leaning Juniper project, and I appreciate their work ethic in helping to protect wildlife in the project area," said Steve Cherry, acting Heppner District Biologist of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The Leaning Juniper project is situated in an ideal location, known for its exceptional wind resources, and near existing Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) transmission lines, which provide access to multiple markets.
"The Leaning Juniper project is another great example of thinking out of the box," said Judge Laura Pryor, chairwoman of the Gilliam County Commission. "The urban-rural divide is not so big after all, when innovative companies like PPM and Waste Management collaborate to find the best solutions for all concerned."
"Waste Management has enjoyed the opportunity to work with PPM Energy for the past three years to bring this project into being," said Cal Palmer, market area vice president for Waste Management. "We know that wind power and other renewable energy projects will help clean our environment and create jobs. Leaning Juniper also dovetails nicely with our landfill gas expansion project, which should produce additional electricity by 2007 and greatly reduces greenhouse gas emissions."
About PPM Energy, Inc.
PPM Energy now has more than 1,700 MW of wind energy in operation or under construction. The strength of its renewable project pipeline has allowed the company to increase its 2010 target by over 50 percent to at least 3,500 MW developed or controlled by PPM Energy. PPM Energy balances its supply portfolio with sales to wholesale customers, placing almost all of its output in long-term contracts. Major customers include the cities of Seattle, Sacramento, Pasadena and Anaheim as well as investor-owned utilities such as Xcel Energy and Pacific Gas & Electric Company and the federal Bonneville Power Administration. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Center for Resource Solutions recently honored PPM Energy for significantly advancing development of the green power market.