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Bill would give Idaho Salmon Funding

by Larry Swisher
Capital Press - December 21, 2001

PORTLAND(AP) -- Pacific-Corp Power Marketing said the Bonneville Power Administration will buy 90 megawatts of wind power, the largest purchase of wind-generated electricity in BPA history.

The electricity would be enough to power 18,000 Northwest homes for the next 25 years, said Jan Johnson, a PPM spokeswoman.

The power will come from the Stateline Wind Project near Walla Walla, Wash., where 450 wind turbines generate enough power for 70,000 homes in 11 Western states. It is the largest wind farm in the world.

The turbines began producing power for PPM in July and will pump out 264 megawatts of electricity by Dec. 31, Johnson said. BPA will have access to the power Dec. 29, but the terms of the deal were confidential.

BPA had previously purchased 80 megawatts of wind power from turbines in Foote Creek, Wyo., and the Condon Wind Project near Prineville, said Bill Murlin, with BPA.

Murlin said the Portland-based federal power marketing agency is studying up to eight wind projects for future purchases, including several in the windy Columbia River Gorge.

"They've been proposed to us and we're doing studies to find out if these projects can be viable," he said.

BPA provides power for utilities and cooperatives in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and parts of Wyoming and California.

The Stateline Wind Project sits on land owned by farmers, while the turbines are owned by FPL Energy of Florida, the largest developer and operator of wind energy facilities in the nation.

Members of the Northwest congressional delegation reacted favorably to the purchases.

"Renewable energy sources are important not only in reducing our reliance on foreign oil, but powering the American economy in environmentally friendly ways," said Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., cochair of the House Renewable Energy Caucus. "Complementing existing energy sources, they can provide farmers and landowners with a source of income while advancing these two important national goals."

"Now more than ever, our country needs alternate sources of energy," Rep. George Nethercutt, R-Wash., said. "This contribution to our power needs is significant and timely, and I commend BPA for recognizing this project."

The Stateline wind field straddles the Oregon-Washington border.

Larry Swisher , a columnist based in Washington, D.C., writes for Pacific Northwest newspapers.
Bill would give Idaho Salmon Funding
Capital Press, December 21, 2001

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