Turbines go up at two Northwest wind farms

Turbines are going up at two of the Northwest's smaller wind farms in north Oregon, both for completion by year's end. Construction began last month at Northwest Windpower LLC's 24 MW Klondike wind project in Sherman County (Windpower Monthly, September 2001). That project has been on the drawing boards for just over six months, while the Condon wind farm, now under construction by Seawest for the Bonneville Power Administration, was in negotiations for over a year (Windpower Monthly, April 2001). Low wind speeds made the initially proposed Condon project uncompetitive with other Northwest generating resources. But increasing the project's overall size from 24.6 MW to 50 MW and bringing in Mitsubishi Heavy Industry (MHI) 600 kW dual speed turbines designed for low wind speeds is bringing the project within economic limits, says Dave Roberts of Seawest. "The improvement is primarily driven by technology," Roberts says. "We went back to MHI and they gave us this turbine designed for the type of wind we have at Condon." Seawest is building the project in two phases. The first 24.6 MW for completion in December and Phase II for completion in June. Although BPA will buy the output of both the Klondike and the Condon projects, they are separate from the 830 MW of wind projects chosen by BPA under its 1000 MW solicitation (Windpower Monthly, July 2001).