Set in the heart of a burgeoning wind industry, Portland, Oregon, is a small US city that sits at the intersection of the Columbia and Willamette rivers. The Willamette Valley has long been famous for its agricultural industry and is now also host to a new crop of vineyards. It also is where the hops are grown that add bitterness to Oregon microbrews. With more than 60 microbreweries in the city, it is fitting that PacifiCorp Power Marketing handed out pint glasses at its opening reception. Further east, beyond the Cascade mountains that separate the wet west side of the state from the arid east side, the wind blows -- and that is quickly making Oregon and the Northwest a centre for US wind power development. To take advantage of this growth, Vestas-American Wind Technology Inc is opening a manufacturing plant in Portland producing as many as 1000 turbines a year. Already, nearly 500 Vestas 660 kW turbines sit along Vansycle Ridge and at FPL Energy's Stateline project. The 2002 AWEA conference will take delegates to another wind power hot spot in the US -- Austin, Texas.
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