PGE signs development deal for 550MW Oregon project

UNITED STATES: Portland General Electric (PGE) has signed a preliminary agreement to buy development rights an RES Americas project of up to 550MW.

The agreement gives PGE exclusive rights to purchase the Rock Creek Wind Farm in Gilliam County, eastern Oregon, through the end of 2010. The wind farm will have a capacity in the 400-550MW range.

PGE is asking the Oregon public utility commission to waive its competitive bidding guidelines for the project.

The company said it filed the waiver request "because of the length of time that would be required to complete the competitive bidding process and the limited duration of PGE’s exclusivity period to act on this opportunity".

Terms of the preliminary agreement have been filed with the PUC and are confidential, PGE said.

RES Americas is currently pursuing state permits for the facility

Construction could begin as early as 2013, but is more likely to start in 2014 or 2015, PGE added.

Analysts say utilities are taking a growing stake in wind farm ownership and operation, in an effort to meet states’ renewable energy quotas.

RES Americas previously sold full ownership rights on its 1.4GW Lower Snake River projects to Washington state utility Puget Sound Energy.

PGE recently completed Oregon’s biggest wind installation, the 450MW Biglow Canyon Wind Farm.