Documents from Oregon
This critical study demonstrates the direct connection between wind energy deployment and the dangerous decline in bat populations, particularly involving the Hoary bat, which existed in abundance throughout the United States until recently. The researchers show that White Noise Syndrome is not a factor in the decline across the Pacific Northwest area. The full report can be accessed by clicking the document links on this page.
The Oregon Supreme court ordered that procedures adopted by the state's energy siting council for handing amendments to already approved permits (site certificates) do not properly consider public comments. The new rules which apply to thermal power plants, wind energy projects, and other large energy facilities "hid agency decisions to expand power plants from the public, unlawfully delegated important decisions to Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) staff, and illegally modified judicial review procedures for challenging council decisions," according to Friends of the Columbia Gorge and eight other conservation organizations who filed the appeal challenging the new rules. A portion of the court order is provided below. The full order can be accessed by clicking the document link(s) on this page.
The Summit Ridge Wind Farm was granted a site certificate by the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC or Council) on August 19, 2011. The applicant now seeks a 4th amendment to the certificate that extends the start construction timeline another two years. A host of objections have been raised about the project. This page includes comments by K. Shawn Smallwood PhD outlining environmental concerns with the project’s wildlife surveys and analysis. The Friends of the Columbia Gorge, Oregon Wild, and others present their own comments. The procedural background information and an excerpt of the comments filed with the Council are provided below. The full documents can be downloaded from the links on this page.
In this important ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, the court vacated the Secretary of the Interior’s approval of the proposed Steens Mountain wind project which would have sited up to 69 turbines and a 230 kv transmission line in area critical for sage grouse. The order is provided below and can also be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
The Ninth District Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of the Oregon Natural Desert Association, and rejected a wind turbine project on Steens Mountain in southeast Oregon. The 104-megawatt project proposed by Columbia Energy Partners would have erected 70 wind turbines and a high-capacity transmission line on Steens Mountain. The approximately 100 MW Echanis project would be sent power to Southern California as part of an agreement with Southern California Edison. The project also included a high-capacity transmission lines that cut across potential sage grouse habitat within the protected Steens Cooperative Project. A summary of the order is provided below. The full decision can be found by clicking the links on this page. Also attached to this page are the legal arguments presented by the government and by the environmental groups from March 2016.
Daniel Brian Williams filed a claim of statutory nuisance, common-law nuisance, and trespass to land agains Invenergy LLC in relation to the operating Willow Creek Energy wind farm consisting of 48 turbines near Willaims property. His original claim can be found here. The final ruling by the court can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. Ultimately, the court denied Willams' claims for nuisance per se, statutory nuisance, and trespass.
This complaint was filed in US District Court in reference to Invenergy's Willow Creek wind energy facility, Invenergy's furst project in the Sttae of Oregon. THe project which consists of 48 turbines with a maximum output of 78 megawatts became operational in December 2008. Noise complaint were ongoing since before the project was fully operational. An excerpt of the complaint is provided below. The full complaint can be accessed by clicking on the link(s) at the bottom of this page.
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.
This important report prepared by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Bend Field Office was submitted to the Energy Facility Siting Officer of the Oregon Department of Energy in reference to the proposed Summit Ridge Wind project. The project to be located in Wasco County Oregon, will include up to 87 wind turbines for a total generating capacity of approximately 200 megawatts. While much of the project site is agricultural land used for dry land winter wheat production, the proposed facility would be built on land one to four miles west of the Deschutes River Canyon extending from river mile 7 on the north end of the project boundary to river mile 31 on the south end. The Service expresses its concern regarding short and long-term Project impacts to migratory birds including bald and golden eagles and bats. Golden eagles, large stick nests, and bald eagles were recently documented in the project vicinity.
Renewable energy on the Pacific Northwest's electricity grid has increased substantially over the years, and this is leading to a number of problems. For the Pacific Northwest, renewable energy expansion truly means wind energy expansion because it is the closest to being market-competitive of all renewable energy sources. Wind power, like hydroelectric power, is clean (i.e., carbon-free in its production), and this remains a large part of policymakers' attraction to wind. While the negative aspects of wind power are apparent, they are often overlooked. Ever increasing wind generation will have a significant impact on the reliability and affordability of electricity in the Pacific Northwest that very well might outweigh any of the claimed environmental benefits. This consise report by the Cascade Policy Institute examines the costs and impacts of wind power integration in the Pacific Northwest.
Wind energy on the Pacific Northwest’s electricity grid has increased substantially. Often overlooked are the impacts of increasing wind generation on the reliability and affordability of electricity that very well might outweigh any of the promised environmental benefits. Todd Wynn and Eric Lowe explain how in Oregon wind power simply replaces a clean, reliable and affordable source of energy: hydroelectricity while inviting increased price volatility, increased rates, and the prospect of more greenhouse gas-emitting facilities.
The Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA) and five other conservation groups released this report in response to the growing pressure to site renewable energy projects on open desert land in Oregon. While the ONDA supports renewable energy development and believes that such development can help reduce fossil fuel consumption and create sustainable economies for rural communities, the organization sees an urgent need to analyze where wind power potential is the highest and wildlife and social conflicts are the lowest. The analysis is important in ensuring projects can be developed without degradation of desert wildlands and damage to sensitive wildlife populations. This report was created through the mapping and analysis of the areas identified by the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory as having the best wind power potential. This data is compared with sensitive natural resources such as Greater sage-grouse breeding areas. The report includes a narrative outlining the nature of the potential conflicts with wind energy development as well as Best Practices and guidelines to minimize impacts.
Letter sent to the Oregon Department of Energy by First Wind (UPC Wind) announcing the company's withdrawal of the application for site certification on the Cascade Wind facility.
The official OR-OSHA report on the August 2007 turbine collapse at the Klondike III wind facility in Oregon can be accessed below. Siemens Power Generation, Inc. was fined $10,500 and cited in part for failing to properly train personnel.
The Role of Wind Energy in a Power Supply Portfolio ....Wind is primarily an energy resource that makes relatively little contribution to meeting system peak loads. Even with large amounts of wind, the Northwest will still need to build other generating resources to meet growing peak load requirements.......But wind energy cannot provide reliable electric service on its own. When wind energy is added to a utility system, its natural variability and uncertainty is combined with the natural variability and uncertainty of loads. This increases the need for flexible resources such as hydro, gas-fired power plants, or dispatchable loads to maintain utility system balance and reliability across several different timescales. The demand for this flexibility increases with the amount of wind in the system.
Editor's Note Presented on October 20th during the 2006 Electric Market Forecasting Conference sponsored by EPIS, Inc. this addresses, in part, the issue of whether emissions are reduced with the addition of industrial wind energy. This is a large pdf file (8.55MB) and is available via the weblink below.