PGE Announces Completion of Tucannon River Wind Farm

Tucannon River wind farm
Siemens turbines at Tucannon River Wind Farm - Image courtesy of Siemens.

Portland General Electric Company (NYSE:POR) today announced its Tucannon River Wind Farm is in service and available to generate power for PGE customers. Tucannon River is PGE’s second fully owned and operated large-scale wind project, with 116 turbines and a total installed capacity of 267 megawatts. Given the variability of wind power, the plant is expected to produce an average of 101 megawatts – enough to power the homes of about 84,000 average PGE residential customers.

“Tucannon River Wind Farm is a key infrastructure investment that will serve our customers with clean, renewable energy for decades to come,” said Jim Piro, PGE president and CEO. “Tucannon River supports a balanced, diverse energy portfolio for reliable, reasonably priced power. The new wind farm will also help PGE meet Oregon’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, which requires us to supply 15 percent of the electricity our customers use from qualified renewable resources by 2015 and 25 percent by 2025.”

Tucannon River Wind Farm is located on 20,000 acres near Dayton, Wash. The new wind farm complements PGE’s existing portfolio of wind resources located in Eastern and North-central Oregon: Biglow Canyon Wind Farm, which is fully owned and operated by PGE, and power purchase agreements for the output of the Klondike II and Vansycle Ridge wind farms. By securing wind power from different geographic locations, PGE is able to better integrate wind into the system because the facilities are less likely to cycle up and down simultaneously.

In addition to providing carbon-free and emissions-free generation of electric power, Tucannon River is providing economic support to the region.

“The Tucannon River Wind Farm has been a great addition to Columbia County and the Dayton community,” said Mike Talbott, Columbia County Chair. “The project brought hundreds of construction jobs to the region, and now 18 permanent, family-wage positions to the Dayton community. It’s also bringing income to local businesses and increasing county tax revenue. We’re happy to have PGE in our community.”

Tucannon River was built for PGE by general contractor and independent renewable power developer Renewable Energy Systems Americas Construction Inc. using wind turbines manufactured by Siemens, each with a nameplate generating capacity of 2.3 megawatts. Power generated at Tucannon River will be brought to PGE customers via a new interconnection at Central Ferry Substation constructed by the Bonneville Power Administration. The plant was completed on time and on budget under fixed-price contracts, with final construction costs expected to be approximately $500 million, excluding AFDC.

Completion of Tucannon River Wind Farm is a significant milestone in the implementation of the action plan that came out of PGE’s 2009 Integrated Resource Plan. The plan was acknowledged by the Oregon Public Utility Commission in November 2010. The requests for proposals used to select the project were conducted pursuant to competitive bidding guidelines established by the OPUC, using objective scoring criteria intended to identify projects that provide the best balance of cost and risk while meeting PGE customers’ needs for reliable, affordable electric power.

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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.