PGE’s Biglow Canyon Wind Farm Starts Generating Power

In a release, PGE said that 24 wind turbines are currently generating wind power, with all 76 wind turbines in Phase 3 expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2010.

"Bringing the first wind turbines of the final phase of Biglow Canyon Wind Farm online represents a big step in developing more wind energy resources for our customers and for the growing wind energy development in the region," said Jim Piro, PGE president and CEO. "We expect to have the entire 450-megawatt wind farm online on time and on budget."

The $1 billion Biglow Canyon Wind Farm is PGE’s first fully-owned wind power facility. Phase 1 of the project began producing power in December 2007 with 76 turbines and Phase 2 in August 2009 with 65 turbines, with a combined generating capacity of 275 megawatts. The addition of the final phase will bring the total installed capacity to 450 megawatts. Given the variability of wind power, the plant is expected to produce an average of around 150 megawatts – enough to power the homes of about 125,000 average PGE residential customers.

Trucks carrying wind-turbine parts for the final phase began arriving at Biglow Canyon in April, with about 10 truckloads required to assemble a single wind turbine. Each of the 415-foot-tall wind turbines, from base to tip of blade, has a generating capacity of 2.3 megawatts. Phase 3 is providing jobs for about 150 employees and contractors during construction.

The Biglow Canyon Wind Farm is located near Wasco in Sherman County, Oregon. It is PGE’s largest renewable energy project. When complete, it is also expected to be one of the largest wind power facilities in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to providing carbon-free and emissions-free generation of electric power, the wind farm is creating jobs, providing income for local businesses, generating tax revenues for local government, and providing easement payments to landowners.

The Biglow Canyon project was developed by Orion Energy. It is being built by PGE, which also owns and operates it.

Portland General Electric, headquartered in Portland, Ore., is a fully integrated electric utility that serves approximately 817,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers in Oregon.