Portland General Electric Company (PGE) has been making some big moves to incorporate renewable energy recently, and now the first 24 turbines at Phase 3 of PGE’s Biglow Canyon Wind Farm have begun turning, supplying renewable energy to the Pacific Northwest’s electricity grid. By the time Biglow Canyon’s Phase 3 reaches completion at the end of the third quarter of 2010, it will total 76 turbines.
The $1 billion Biglow Canyon Wind Farm–construction on which began in 2007–is PGE’s first fully owned wind power facility. Phases 1 and 2 of the project installed 65 turbines with a combined generating capacity of 275 megawatts; the third and final phase will bring the total installed capacity of the wind farm to 450 megawatts. With allowances made for the variability of wind power, the plant is expected to produce an average of 150 megawatts – enough electricity to power the homes of about 125,000 residents in the PGE service area.
The Biglow Canyon Wind Farm is located near Wasco in Sherman County, Oregon, and is PGE’s largest renewable energy project; upon completion, it will also be one of the largest wind power facilities in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to providing carbon-free and emissions-free generation of electric power, PGE says that the Biglow wind farm has contributed to Oregon’s economy by creating jobs, providing income for local businesses, generating tax revenues for local government, and providing easement payments to landowners.
“Bringing the first turbines of the final phase of Biglow Canyon Wind Farm online represents a big step in developing more renewable energy resources for our customers and for the growing wind energy development in the region,” said Jim Piro, PGE president and CEO. in a statement. “We expect to have the entire 450-megawatt wind farm online on time and on budget.”