Oregon tenders arrive at same two finalists

In Oregon, Energy Trust and Last Mile Electric Cooperative, a non-profit company formed to develop wind energy for public power, has arrived at the same two finalists following separate tender procedures started in the summer. Each vows to work co-operatively for a larger and cheaper project, says Energy Trust's Peter West. Together they are negotiating with both Tomen Power for development of Tomen's 104 MW Combine Hills Turbine Ranch on eastern Oregon's Vansycle Ridge (Windpower Monthly, February 2002) and with Northwestern Windpower for an expansion of that company's Klondike Project, also located in Oregon. Access and cost of transmission are issues that could be deciding factors in which project is eventually chosen, but as a Northwest co-operative with public power members, Last Mile may hold the key to gaining access for both organisations to Bonneville Power Administration transmission lines. The Energy Trust's West says both projects are shortlisted, but only one will be chosen. His group has $8.5 million collected from PacifiCorp and Portland General Electric ratepayers through the state's 3% public purposes charge. The utilities will pay market price for the power, while the Energy Trust will pick up the tab for costs above market. Neither Energy Trust nor Last Mile will say how much wind energy each will buy until negotiations are complete. Both are aiming for a December 31, 2003 completion date.