Articles from Oregon
An Oregon Supreme Court ruling could bring an end to permits for two big energy projects in Eastern Oregon and eight more statewide. The Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council in October 2017 adopted a swifter, less public method to amend permits, or site certificates, for wind farms, thermal power plants and other large energy facilities. While the traditional “type A” review process involved public notices and hearings, the new “type B” process cut out the public involvement, including allowing interested parties to request a contested case proceeding. Type B also required staff to issue decisions as soon as possible.
Today the Oregon Supreme Court held in favor of a coalition of nine conservation organizations, invalidating rules adopted in 2017 by the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) that had dramatically reduced transparency and discouraged public participation in permitting decisions for large power plants throughout Oregon. Today’s legal victory is also expected to terminate the previously issued permits for two controversial power projects, the Summit Ridge Wind Farm proposed in Wasco County, along the Deschutes river, and the Perennial Wind Chaser Station, a natural gas power plant proposed in Umatilla County.
MORO — In Sherman County, every family gets a gift at Christmastime.
More than a dozen citizens asked the Wasco County Commission April 3 not to submit a letter of support it wrote for the Summit Ridge wind project east of Dufur. The commission opted to table the matter.
The company said in its site amendment filing that it "proposes to update turbine dimensions to reflect current technology it anticipates using for facility construction." Because each turbine would produce more power — up to 4.2 megawatts apiece — the change could allow it to deploy fewer turbines, the company noted.
A malfunctioning wind turbine sparked a grass fire near Arlington that burned about 2,000 acres on Thursday. Joe Claughton, North Gilliam Rural Fire Protection District chief, said no buildings were burned, but two railroad trestles caught on fire. The fire started about half a mile from milepost 3 on Highway 19 by Rattlesnake Road.
... biggest impact to birds in Central and Eastern Oregon would likely be from wind turbines, thanks to the presence of several large wind energy projects in Eastern Oregon. Miller, a member of the East Cascade Audubon Society, said wind turbines disproportionately harm raptors, including falcons and golden eagles, relative to other human-made threats such as cars and power lines.
The 8.6-mile line would cross farmland and forestland, drawing opposition from landowners in its path who worry about impediments to agriculture and logging. Opponents argue that a new transmission line between Tillamook and Oceanside isn’t justified by actual electricity demand, but may instead be intended as a connection to future wave power or offshore wind energy projects.
Avanagrid Renewables, which already has nearly 1,300 megawatts of operating wind power in the region and is building a big project that will sell its output to Apple, has acquired a permitted but unbuilt project in the Columbia River Gorge.
Staff advisers at Oregon's utility regulator threw cold water on PacifiCorp's plan to spend $3.5 billion, one of its biggest upgrades ever, on wind turbines and a new transmission line. The Public Utility Commission staff say the utility had failed to justify the need for the massive capital investments, whether to meet its capacity, energy or reliability needs.
Capital Power Corporation this month filed a notice of intent with the state’s Energy Facility Siting Council to seek a site certificate for the Nolin Hills Wind Power Project, capable of producing up to 350 megawatts of power. It would be located about 10 miles west of Pendleton.
Bottom line, staff and the ratepayer groups contend that PGE simply doesn't need another wind farm right now, particularly in the Gorge. Wind farms produce lots of energy, but they are inherently unpredictable, meaning they can't be relied on to fill the capacity ...During the region's recent heat wave. wind farms in the Gorge were often producing little to no electricity.
Regulators have cleared Apple’s Oregon wind power project to use the biggest turbines ever deployed in the Pacific Northwest.
A federal court has killed a large wind energy project in southeast Oregon over concerns about a declining sage grouse population that needs the area to breed.
The long‐running case over the impacts of proposed industrial‐scale wind energy development on Steens Mountain in southeastern Oregon was put to an end Tuesday afternoon by order of a federal court. The court vacated the Secretary of the Interior’s approval of an industrial‐scale wind project that would have forever marred one of Oregon’s most cherished high desert natural areas.
Oregon’s two biggest utilities, major industrial users and the Citizens’ Utility Board are all opposing legislation that would carve out a portion of Oregon’s renewable portfolio standard for small-scale projects.
This action was a serious breach of the revenue department's ethical responsibility to act in the best interests of all Oregon taxpayers. The department's involvement in the failures of the BETC program needs further investigation. Taxpayer money should not have been allowed to flow out of state coffers into the BETC program with little to no supervision.
Some of the biggest names in Oregon's renewable energy and forest products industries landed on a list of suspicious state giveaways during an investigative audit of Oregon's Business Energy Tax Credit Program. ...The audit details ongoing and costly failures by staff at the Oregon Department of Energy in applying the most fundamental rules of the program or performing basic due diligence to ensure tax credit applicants qualified for the money and used it as intended.
The appeals court decision said the BLM completed no surveys on whether sage grouse were at the site during the winter. "The inaccurate information and unsupported assumptions materially impeded informed decision-making and public participation," the decision said.
Both groups, which had appealed U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman's 2013 decision to throw out the case more than two years ago, have long argued the Steens Mountains location is not a proper site for an industrial-scale wind farm. They argued the project would have destroyed the grouse's nearby winter concentration areas and severed a unique habitat corridor that is essential to the survival of neighboring grouse populations.