According to the Oregon non-profit Renewable Northwest Project, the state will see capital investment in solar, wind, and geothermal projects reach the $5.4 billion mark before the end of the year.
Wind energy in particular has been a boom to Oregon, especially in Sherman Country, where projects have brought $2 billion to the region – $1 billion from Iberdrola Renewables investment alone – and a reported $17 million in property taxes. Solar has been beneficial as well: the town of Hillsboro, Oregon already hosts one of the nation’s largest solar manufacturing plants, and another is on the way.
A representative from Columbia Gorge Community College at a press conference held by the non-profit organization stated that renewable energy projects have been responsible for construction jobs in rural areas of the state that have been hit particularly hard with timber industries losses.
We’ve reported quite a bit on Oregon renewable projects, including a 23 megawatt geothermal plant, a giant 845 megawatt wind farm, and two solar manufacturing centers that, together, are bringing more than 1,000 jobs to the region. But some have argued that Oregon’s green ambitions are set too high, as the state has been forced to change renewable energy benchmarks more than once in the last ten years.