An initiative that would allow utilities to count all hydroelectric power toward renewable energy requirements was approved this week for signature gathering. The initiative seeks to alter renewable portfolio standards approved in 2007 ...The law prohibits large utilities from counting hydroelectric power generated by dams built before 1995 towards the standard.
New wind energy development is off to a slow start in 2013, following a surge of projects last year that added 1,700 megawatts of generation across the Pacific Northwest.
NAW has learned that West Butte Wind Power LLC has withdrawn its permit application enabling the developer to "take" golden eagles at a proposed wind project in central Oregon. ...the developer withdrew its take permit request in March due to the difficulty in finding a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the project.
The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) this week released a new proposal to share the "oversupply costs" that pile up when there is not enough demand for all the electricity produced by hydroelectric dams and wind-power producers.
During these oversupply periods, when wind-power producers may be asked to shut down, the plan would compensate them for lost revenue, according to Doug Johnson, a BPA spokesman.
The developer of the mammoth wind farm, New York-based Caithness Energy, went though the legal exercise of subdividing the project on paper to qualify for three separate, $10 million state subsidies. The Energy Department approved them in the last six months, despite sufficient evidence in two of its own analyses to define the wind farm as a single facility, deserving only one tax credit.
The state Department of Energy is reviewing whether a major wind farm in north-central Oregon should have received $30 million in tax credits.
Officials decided to re-evaluate their recent approval of the tax breaks for the Shepherd's Flat wind farm after The Oregonian newspaper raised questions about whether it should have qualified for them.
Jackson threw out the bulk of Ralls’s lawsuit against the Obama administration, which focused on whether the president exceeded his power by ordering the company, an affiliate of China’s Sany Group Co., to sell the wind farm assets. “The statute expressly authorizes the president to do what he deems necessary to accomplish or implement the prohibition."
The Oregon Department of Energy said it will reevaluate its recent approval of $30 million in tax credits for the Shepherd's Flat wind farm, a collection of 338 turbines in Gilliam and Morrow counties that bills itself as one of the largest wind farms in the world.
Last Tuesday morning, wind farms plugged into the Bonneville Power Administration's transmission network hit a new generation record of 4,289 megawatts. In fact, earlier the same morning, wind farms exceeded the output of the federal hydroelectric system... there was no brouhaha over excess energy supply as there was last spring. Everyone went about their business and got paid.
The trailer struck the guardrail, damaging about 100 feet of railing before hitting the bridge and going over the embankment into the river, Duncan said.
A small fire started in the grass, but firefighters put it out.
This month marks the 12th anniversary of designation of the remote Steens Mountain country of southeast Oregon as a protected area, some of it as federal wilderness. But conservation groups are in court, trying to keep wind turbines and transmission lines off the mountain.
No one has ever before sued the US president over this type of ruling, but Ralls argues that Mr Obama exceeded his powers ...
On Friday afternoon, Obama issued an order compelling the company to sell within 90 days four wind farm sites in Oregon, and to clear all its equipment and structures off the sites within 14 days.
The wind farm sites are all in or near restricted airspace at the Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility in Boardman, Ore. ...The interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States initially recommended against allowing the transaction in July. But only the president can halt an acquisition.
Barack Obama said he had decided that Ralls, the company behind the project, "might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States," and ordered it to sell its four sites and remove its equipment.
Obama ordered Ralls Corp., a company owned by Chinese nationals, to divest its interest in development rights for the small wind farms -- with just five turbines each --near the Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility. ...Ralls said it would lose the chance for $25 million in federal renewable energy investment tax incentives if the farms weren't running by Dec. 31.
After conducting an investigation, CFIUS issued an order on July 25 citing "national security risks" raised by the sale of the assets to Ralls and directing the company to stop all construction and operations at the wind-farm locations, according to the filing. ...If the wind farms aren't in service by Dec. 31, then the company won't be able to obtain $25 million in federal investment tax incentives, according to the court filing.
Gas prices, the report worries, "may not ultimately rebound to earlier levels as the economy recovers, due to the ongoing development of significant shale gas deposits." The widely held belief that gas will remain cheap for quite some time "puts the near-term comparative economic position of wind energy at some risk, absent further reductions in the price of wind power (and absent supportive policies for wind energy)."
Wind generation accounts for less than 5 percent of the electricity consumed in Oregon. The lion's share comes from hydroelectric dams, natural gas and coal-fired power plants, and much of that power is generated out of state. Likewise, much of the wind power generated in Oregon is under contract with utilities in California.
Election-year politics and a soon-to-expire federal energy tax credit program could stall or scuttle a proposed wind farm on the gusty open bluffs of northeastern Oregon. The Senate Finance Committee voted 19-5 in favor of a one-year, but the Senate and House must make the final decision to renew.
Congress has seesawed in its attitude toward the credit, originally part of the Energy Policy Act of 1992.
EPUD has said it was expecting that by late 2011 its customer base would have grown and customers would need that extra power.
But they don't, and the California buyer doesn't want it either, meaning EPUD now must keep buying the power from the wind farm at contract rates and sell it on the open market, where prices have plunged, EPUD said.