PacifiCorp to Build Second Marengo Wind Facility

PacifiCorp subsidiary Pacific Power last week announced a new 70.2-MW wind project near its recently completed Marengo facility in the hills near Dayton, Washington. Construction on the Marengo II project will begin this month.

Like Marengo I, it was developed by RES America Developments, Inc., and will be constructed under contract by RES America Construction, Inc. Marengo II is scheduled to begin commercial operation in June 2008, and will use 39 Vestas 1.8-MW turbines.

With completion of the 140.4-MW Marengo I project in August, the company now owns and operates more wind generation than any other electric utility in the Pacific Northwest, the company said.

The company also said it continues to actively seek additional renewable resource options, with more announcements expected in coming months.

“We’re pleased that Pacific Power is investing in new, clean energy sources in Washington,” said Governor Christine Gregoire (D). “Resources like Marengo I and Marengo II can benefit our economy and our environment and highlight the role renewable energy can play in meeting the future needs of our region.”

Marengo I is the second wind project completed by PacifiCorp in less than a year. In September 2006, the company brought the 100.5-MW Leaning Juniper 1 wind project near Arlington, Ore., into commercial operation. Besides Marengo II, PacifiCorp also recently announced plans to build two new wind projects in Wyoming.

“Constructing another project near our existing Marengo facility allows us to cost-effectively provide even more of the clean, renewable energy our customers are asking for and to meet the new renewable portfolio standards established in Washington and Oregon,” said Pat Reiten, president of Pacific Power. “The future of wind power in the region is very strong, and we are proud to be a leader in its development. We are thrilled that Dayton and the surrounding communities have been so supportive of our plans.”

With renewable portfolio standards now mandated by Oregon, Washington, and California, and the possibility of federal standards in the future, planning is underway at Pacific Power to determine how best to meet those standards once all the compliance rules are completed, the company said.

“We know renewable resources will continue to be an important part of the diversified generating portfolio that will serve our customers now and into the future,” Reiten said. “We’ve made that commitment, and we’re following through.”

The Marengo II project is located on approximately 4,300 acres of agricultural land in Columbia County, though the actual project footprint is quite small, enabling the vast majority of the land to continue to be used for agricultural purposes. PacifiCorp is putting more than $100 million into the project, an investment that will have a beneficial impact on the county’s tax base; moreover, landowners will receive lease payments over the life of the facility.

“We are thrilled to have these projects in our area,” said Jennie Dickinson, manager of the Port of Columbia. “Rural, agricultural communities like Dayton have to diversify their economies to survive. These projects provide living-wage jobs for our residents, bring much-needed new revenue to our businesses and governments, and allow our agricultural way of life not only to continue but to thrive. We couldn’t ask for a better fit for our community.”

Additional PacifiCorp and Pacific Power utility-scale renewable energy projects under construction include:

• Glenrock Wind Energy Project, a recently announced 99-megawatt project proposed at a site that includes a reclaimed surface coal mine in Wyoming. Construction will begin once necessary permits and approvals are in place, with completion targeted by the end of 2008.

• Seven Mile Hill Wind Energy Project, a recently announced 99-megawatt project proposed in Wyoming. Construction will begin once necessary permits and approvals are in place, with completion targeted by the end of 2008.

• Blundell expansion, adding an 11-megawatt efficiency enhancement to the company’s existing geothermal facility. Completion is expected by the end of 2007.

• Hydro upgrades, adding 27 additional megawatts of renewable energy to the company’s system in 2006-2007, with more upgrades planned after 2010.

This was adapted from an article that first appeared in WindEnergyWeekly, the weekly newsletter of the American Wind Energy Association. 

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