Library from Oregon
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.
In this petition, the Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA) and Audubon Society of Portland (Portland Audubon) seek revocation of a federal right of way that would permit construction of the North Steens 230-kV Transmission Line needed to deliver wind energy from a wind facility proposed for Steens Mountain in Oregon. A portion of the petition is provided below. The full petition can be downloaded from the links on this page.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wind power, a darling of the renewable energy industry, is getting a push back from ranchers like Davies and conservationists. They worry that the rush to harness wind will have long-term negative impacts on some of America's last unspoiled places. That includes the area around Steens Mountain where impacts to raptors and threatened sage grouse cannot always be fully mitigated.
Residents of Blake Ranch, a small Morrow County community, protested plans Wednesday for a 310 wind-turbine farm. The four stood with signs outside Heppner City Hall, where Chicago-based wind power developer Invenergy, LLC at the second of two public information sessions unveiled its plans for 61,000 acres east of Heppner.
These data centers would push the cooperative into the same RPS classification as the state's two largest investor-owned utilities. Central Electric would then have to begin compliance with the RPS well ahead of its current schedule, creating millions of dollars in additional power costs.