As expected, Oregon has now cemented its pro-renewable energy policy in legislation that requires a minimum of 25% of the state's electricity to come from green sources by 2025. With an existing strong mandate in California and a recent one enacted in Washington state, "all of a sudden Oregon was standing alone on the West Coast," says Rachel Shimshak of the Renewables Northwest Project, which has been a main driver of the legislation. She expects the new market structure will result in the addition of 6000 MW of renewables capacity to the state's electricity supply portfolio over the next 15 years or so, most of it wind. With under 450 MW of existing wind power, Oregon lies eighth in the state wind power rankings. Shimshak concedes wind had already taken off in Oregon despite not having a green mandate, but that a number of the existing wind plant sell their power to nearby, out of state utilities. The new mandate will ensure that all in-state utilities, electricity co-operatives and other power entities follow through with renewable energy -- although any entity that serves less than 3% load in the state will have a relaxed mandate.
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