Articles filed under Impact on Economy from Oregon

Oregon Senate passes bill to protect state renewable energy mandates

A bill designed to shield Oregon's renewable energy mandates from a potentially game-changing ballot measure sailed through the Senate's Business and Transportation Committee Tuesday, even as opponents called it a back-room deal hatched to benefit industry insiders and ignore average citizens. ...Irene Gilbert said the bill circumvents the opportunity for citizens negatively impacted by the renewable mandates to have a say in what is counted toward meeting them.
26 Feb 2014

Wind energy of no use in the Pacific Northwest

Bpa-load-graph-jan2014_thumb Over the last several years the Pacific Northwest spent about $5 billion and impacted over 50,000 acres of pristine public land for the privilege of throwing away 9 billion kWhrs of carbon-free energy every year. Just so we can meet an arbitrary state mandate, claim we’re green, and make a few folks lots of money in tax credits, the cost of which gets passed onto the rate-payers and tax-payers.
18 Jan 2014

Oregon panel close to fixing renewable energy mandate to avoid ballot fight

A small group of public utilities led by Umatilla Electric Cooperative asked the Legislature last year to change the definition of qualifying resources under the law to include the region’s massive supply of hydropower. Umatilla is close to going over the three percent threshold, triggering the stiffer requirements. Including hydro resources would let it off the compliance hook.
17 Jan 2014

Oregon Energy Department re-evaluating $30 million in tax credits to wind farm

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.
9 Mar 2013

Rates set to jump for Pacific Power, PGE customers in January

Customers of Pacific Power will see their electric rates spike 14.5 percent in January. The increase comes in a one-two punch: an 8.4 percent general rate increase state utility regulators approved Friday, and a 6.1 percent increase for increased power costs they are expected to approve Dec. 28. Both take effect Jan. 1. ...The biggest factor driving the increases: renewable power.
18 Dec 2010

BPA proposes 8.5% rate hike

BPA will also recover the costs of integrating rising amounts of wind power into the transmission grid through a separate wind integration charge paid by wind developers and purchasers. That rate will be determined through the same process of setting power rates.
18 Nov 2010

Renewable energy costs for all

Despite the existence of a voluntary program which allows renewable-resource-loving ratepayers to pay a higher cost to support renewable energy, PGE is charging all of its customers a higher rate for the added renewable energy on the grid by charging 0.22 cents per kWh, or approximately $2.13 extra per month, for an average household.
4 Mar 2010

State lowballed cost of green tax breaks

State officials deliberately underestimated the cost of Gov. Ted Kulongoski's plan to lure green energy companies to Oregon with big taxpayer subsidies, resulting in a program that cost 40 times more than unsuspecting lawmakers were told, an investigation by The Oregonian shows. Records also show that the program, a favorite of Kulongoski's known as the Business Energy Tax Credit, has given millions of dollars to failed companies while voters are being asked to raise income taxes because the state budget doesn't have enough to pay for schools and other programs.
31 Oct 2009

California renewables push could drive up prices in Oregon

California's push to supersize its renewable energy standards could drive electricity rates higher for Northwest consumers, strain the west's transmission and hydroelectric systems, and create a host of thorny policy issues. The California Assembly passed a pair of bills Friday to create the nation's most aggressive renewable energy mandate. It would require utilities to meet one third of their customers' needs with green energy such as wind, solar and geothermal by 2020.
15 Sep 2009

PGE posts lower Q2 results

Get ready for a series of major investments and associated rate increases by Portland General Electric Co. ...The Portland-based utility told financial analysts Thursday that it was pulling the plug on a near-term plan to add 218 megawatts of new wind power because of financial market conditions. The company still plans, however, to complete the ongoing expansion of its Biglow Canyon wind farm and add another 300 to 400 megawatts of wind or other renewable power to meet Oregon's renewable energy standard by 2015.
3 Aug 2009

Resale a concern on land with power lines

Whether the reports of health hazards are true or not is almost irrelevant. Just the fact that many people are truly concerned about the potential health effects of living near a wind farm, or the electromagnetic radiation from high voltage electrical wires, is reason enough to try to avoid buying a property that is close to power lines. It's a simple law of economics: As demand for a product goes down, so does its price. When you have a certain number of people avoiding a certain property, for whatever reason, the price of that property will be negatively affected.
24 Aug 2008

Wind power gains force in Portland

A growing number of wind-energy companies are establishing themselves in downtown Portland, drawn by a rapidly expanding market for renewable power, a skilled labor pool and the city's green welcome mat. The influx of wind-energy investment and white-collar professionals is realizing the burgeoning hopes of state economic leaders who see alternative energy development as a new leg of a state economy in transition. Many firms boast international connections, ample financial resources and a nose for opportunity.
15 Jul 2007

Six counties lose residents last year

Six of Oregon’s 36 counties lost population between July 2005 and July 2006, with Sherman County losing the largest percentage — .08 percent.........County Assessor Dick Stradley says he doesn’t know for sure but guesses that the fluctuation is because of contract workers for power companies that move in temporarily to work on dams or windmills. “They come in here and we never see them,” he said. “Then in one or two months they are gone.”
3 Dec 2006

Windfall from wind farms drops

Rural Columbia River Gorge counties saw plenty of dollar signs when wind farm developers began erecting turbines in their breezy, rural backyards. The investments slapped tens of millions of dollars onto sagging tax rolls and promised to revive budgets for services such as schools, health care and economic development. But the anticipated windfall has suddenly lost some of its heft. A state-level change in the way the projects are valued has worked to pull down assessments, and, in turn, has wiped out hundreds of thousands of property tax dollars that county officials had hoped to pencil into future budgets. “This is very serious for our counties and our taxing districts,” Judge Laura Pryor of Gilliam County wrote in an e-mail newsletter to rural colleagues. “What we have all thought of as an industry of benefit, may not be of much benefit. They don’t provide any jobs and now they may not provide much revenue either!”
17 Nov 2006
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