Energy | Local

Wind Farm Opens In Arlington

OPB | Sept. 23, 2012 6 a.m. | Updated: Sept. 26, 2012 3:19 a.m.

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A huge new wind farm is now fully operational in Oregon’s Morrow and Gilliam Counties, along the Eastern Columbia Gorge.

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Thirty square miles of wind turbines are spinning across Arlington. At 845 megawatts, it’s the largest wind project in Oregon, and ranks among the larger sites in the nation.

The project came online with support from state tax credits. It includes millions of dollars in subsidies for farmers who’ve agreed to allow wind turbines on their land.

Derrel Grant, a vice president with the project’s developer, Caithness Energy, say the local community has embraced the project with open arms.

“We had both the county Judges from Morrow County, Gilliam County, we had county commissioners, a number of executives. The landowners just smiled. This is a great partnership that puts Oregon at the front of renewable power.”

Investors, led by Caithness, include GE Energy Financial Services, Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation, and Google. The search giant has a data center in the Dalles. Grant says Google has a stake in the availability of power in the region.

The power generated at Shepherd’s Flat is sent along transmission lines to California. Southern California Edison has bought the project’s full generation capacity.

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