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Significant wind plant expansion permitted in Oregon
1 August 2004
Sherman County Commissioners in Oregon approved a four-fold expansion of PPM Energy's Klondike wind farm to increase the facility's size from its current 24 MW to 99 MW this year. While land leases and permits are all in place, the project's timeline depends on when wind's federal production tax credit (PTC) is extended, says PPM's Jan Johnson. The PTC is worth $0.018/kWh. The project is a boon to the county, one of the poorest in Oregon, says County Commissioner Tom Martin. He says the completed facility would account for as much as 35% of the county's tax receipts, while also paying eight dry land wheat farmers up to $2000 a year in lease fees for each of the 56 turbines. The wind farm's 16 GE Energy 1.5 MW turbines began generating in January 2002. Built by Northwestern Wind Power to provide power for the area's aluminium mills, the project was bought by PPM in January 2003 for $16.8 million (Windpower Monthly, February 2003). PPM says it has yet to finalise a power purchase agreement for the 75 MW it hopes to add. The company has not decided on a turbine supplier for the expansion, but Johnson says it is happy with the performance of the GE turbines at the site. PPM Energy is a Portland-based subsidiary of Scottish Power that owns or buys 830 MW of wind energy in seven states and plans to own or buy 2000 MW by 2010.
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