UPC Wind Files Site Application for
UPC Oregon Wind LLC has filed a site certification application with the Oregon Energy and Facility Siting Council (EFSC) to build a 60 megawatt wind farm near The Dalles in Wasco County, Oregon.
The Council serves the Oregon Department of Energy, which will soon issue a public notice stating that the application is available for review. A public hearing on the application is scheduled for May 2 at The Dalles Civic Auditorium, said Adam Bless at the Oregon Department of Energy.
Copies of the application will be available at The Dalles Public Library and at the Wasco County Land Use Planning Office in The Dalles. A copy of the application also is available at the Oregon Department of Energy office in Salem.
The EFSC Site Certification for the Cascade Wind Project is expected to be granted early next year and, according to UPC Wind, there could be commercial wind farm operation by the end of 2008.
The project would benefit the local economy with jobs in both construction and operations, property tax payments to Wasco County and the long-term lease contracts to property owners.
"Cascade Wind is positioned to help Oregon take a national leadership role in renewable energy production. We are excited to be working with so many people dedicated to expanding clean, green and environmentally responsible energy options in the northwest," said Paul Gaynor, President and CEO of UPC Wind.
Large energy providers in Oregon must undergo the EFSC site certification process to gain approval for construction and implementation of their facility. The Council reviews site certification proposals and determines compliance with their Energy Facility Siting Standards and with the requirements of other state and local permitting agencies. A site certificate granted by the EFSC is binding for all state and local agencies whose permits are addressed during the review process.
UPC Wind has proposed construction of 40 General Electric wind turbine generators at the Cascade Wind Farm site. Each turbine has a 1.5 megawatt production capacity. The total energy output of the proposed project could power as many as 12,000 homes. If approved, Cascade Wind will connect to Bonneville Power Agency's electricity grid.
To determine the suitability of the Northwest Oregon location, UPC Wind has conducted several rigorous on-site natural resource and biological studies at the proposed wind farm area. These studies include examinations of historical and cultural resources in the area, rare plant studies, habitat reviews, and surveys of the resident birds, bats and large game animals.
The UPC Wind studies directly address many of the EFSC's siting standards including fish and wildlife habitat protection, security for threatened and endangered species, impact of facility on scenic and aesthetic values and recreation areas.
UPC will hold a community open house on May 23 at 7 p.m. at the Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles. The event will include presentations about detailed project plans and concepts during the EFSC application process.
UPC Wind is based in Newton, Mass., with offices in Maine, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, California, Oregon and Hawaii.
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