The Seattle Times / Associated Press
Oregon to have world's largest wind farm
A state energy panel has approved building what developers say would be the world's largest single wind farm in Gilliam and Morrow counties...
SALEM, Ore. — A state energy panel has approved building what developers say would be the world's largest single wind farm in Gilliam and Morrow counties in northeastern Oregon.
Officials say the Columbia River Gorge wind farm will be capable of generating 909 megawatts at its peak — enough to power some 225,000 homes.
That would double the state's current wind-generated energy capacity.
The wind farm is expected to employ up to 300 people during construction and about 25 when it is operational.
"This is a tremendous day for renewable energy in Oregon," state Energy Department Director Michael Grainey said Friday after the project got the go-ahead from the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council.
The project is being developed by Caithness Shepherds Flat, LLC of Sacramento, Calif., and proposes 303 turbines. It was not immediately clear when it would be operational.
Caithness says Shepherds Flat will be the largest single wind farm in the world. The project is planned for privately owned land about five miles southeast of the Columbia River town Arlington.
Output would enter the Federal Columbia River Transmission System through Bonneville Power Administration's Slatt Substation.
Other wind projects under review in Oregon include the 400-megawatt Golden Hills Wind Farm in Sherman County and the 143-megawatt Newberry Geothermal Project in Deschutes County.
The largest wind farm in the United States is Horse Hollow in Texas at 736 megawatts.
But investor T. Boone Pickens has said he plans to build a wind farm with a peak of 4,000 megawatts in Texas by 2014.