Projects will expand the company's wind power by 60 percent, to the tune of $1.5 billion

Pacific Power has selected four new wind projects to fulfill longterm plans to significantly expand the amount of wind energy serving customers by 2020.

It's part of Pacific Power's Energy Vision 2020 plan, which will upgrade the company's wind fleet in Wyoming, Washington and Oregon with longer blades and newer technology, along with building a new high-voltage transmission line in Wyoming to connect the new wind energy to Pacific Power's grid.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: FILE PHOTO - Pacific Powers Leaning Jupiter wind project is located near Arlington, Ore. PGE figures it will need to rely on wind more than solar for its next wave of renewable energy projects. The four projects chosen from RFPs issued in September, 2017 are:

  • A 400 MW wind project in Converse County, Wyoming. It will be built by NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, with half of the project owned and operated by PacifiCorp and half owned and delivered by NextEra under a Power Purchase Agreement.
  • A 161 MW wind project in Uinta County, Wyoming. It will be built by Invenergy, LLC, and owned and operated by PacifiCorp.
  • A 500 MW wind project in Carbon and Albany Counties, Wyoming. It will be built, owned and operated by PacifiCorp.
  • A 250 MW wind project in Carbon County, Wyoming, which will be built, owned and operated by PacifiCorp.
  • The four projects will expand the company's owned and contracted wind power by more than 60 percent and add enough new wind energy to power approximately 450,000 average homes.

    "We are committed to expanding the amount of renewable energy serving our customers, and these new wind projects will help us cost-effectively further that goal," said Stefan Bird, president and CEO of Pacific Power.

    All together, the projected cost of the four projects totals $1.5 billion — down from the April 2017 estimate.

    The additional wind generation and associated transmission line were identified in the company's 2017 Integrated Resource Plan as part of a broader approach to most cost-effectively meet customers' energy needs over the next 20 years. Completing the wind projects by 2020 will allow the company to use federal production tax credits to provide net cost savings to customers over the life of the projects.

    Pending approval from state regulatory commissions, acquisition of rights of way and receipt of permits, construction of the new wind and transmission projects is expected to begin in 2019.

    By Jules Rogers
    Reporter, The Business Tribune
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