Biglow Canyon represents PGE’s largest wind power project, with a total installed capacity of 450 megawatts. Given the variability of wind power, the plant is expected to produce an average of around 150 MW – enough to power the homes of about 125,000 average PGE residential customers.
“Biglow Canyon Wind Farm is an important component of PGE’s diverse portfolio of energy resources,” said Jim Piro, PGE president and CEO. “We are pleased to have completed construction of this significant project that not only reflects the values of our customers, but also helps PGE meet Oregon’s Renewable Energy Standard, which requires us to supply 15 percent of the electricity our customers use from renewable resources by 2015 and 25 percent by 2025.”
In 2008, approximately 2 percent of the company’s total retail load requirement was provided by wind resources, which included the first phase of Biglow Canyon and the power PGE purchased on contract from the Klondike II and Vansycle Ridge wind farms, both in Oregon. The utility’s current Integrated Resource Plan calls for renewable resources to make up approximately 9 percent of the company’s total retail load by the end of 2010 with the completion of Biglow Canyon in its entirety and the existing wind power purchase agreements.
“PGE is proud to have completed one of the largest wind projects in the Pacific Northwest – constructed on time and under budget,” Piro said.
The $1 billion project located on 25,000 acres near Wasco in Sherman County, Ore., was built in three phases. Phase 1, completed in December 2007, is comprised of 76 Vestas wind turbines and has an installed capacity of 125 MW. Phase 2, comprised of 65 Siemens wind turbines with an installed capacity of approximately 150 MW, was completed and placed in-service in August 2009. The final phase of the project, completed in August 2010, added an additional 76 Siemens wind turbines and installed capacity of 175 MW to the project.
In addition to providing carbon-free and emissions-free generation of electric power, the wind farm has created jobs, is 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 LLC and built, owned and operated by PGE.
Portland General Electric, headquartered in Portland, Ore., is a fully integrated electric utility that serves approximately 822,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Oregon.