PGE Completes $1bn
by James Cartledge
Oregon utility Portland General Electric has completed the final phase of its largest ever renewable energy project.
The Biglow Canyon Wind Farm now comprises 217 turbines, generating up to 450 megawatts of power.
Even with the variability of the wind, the company said the facility should average 150MW output, supplying enough power to provide 125,000 local homes with electricity.
The $1 billion project is located on 25,000 acres near Wasco in Sherman County, near the Oregon-Washington border.
It was built in three phases, the first comprising 76 Vestas turbines and 125MW capacity, completed in December 2007. The second phase saw 65 Siemens turbines providing 150MW of output from August 2009.
The latest and final phase has added an additional 76 turbines made by German manufacturer Siemens, offering up to 175MW of generating capacity.
Jim Piro, PGE president and CEO, said: "PGE is proud to have completed one of the largest wind projects in the Pacific Northwest - constructed on time and under budget."
The Biglow project was co-developed by Orion Energy LLC, the developed based in Oakland, California, which was acquired by BP in 2006.
However, the wind farm was built, owned and operated by Portland-based PGE, which serves about 822,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Oregon.
PGE is expecting its Biglow Canyon development to take its supply of renewable energy from 2% of its overall power supplies up to 9% by the end of this year.
Mr Piro said: "We are pleased to have completed construction of this significant project that not only reflects the values of our customers, but also helps PGE meet Oregon's Renewable Energy Standard, which requires us to supply 15% of the electricity our customers use from renewable resources by 2015 and 25% by 2025."
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