PGE completes first phase of wind farm

The last of the 76 turbines in the first-phase development of Portland General Electric Company (PGE) are online at Biglow Canyon Wind Farm in Sherman County, Oregon.

PGE broke ground on the project in February of 2007, and the first turbines began generating electricity for customers in October.

PGE’s first, wholly owned and operated wind farm has an installed capacity of 125 megawatts of electricity - enough to power about 34,000 homes. Additional phases planned for construction in 2009 and 2010 are expected to bring the facility’s total generating capacity to between 400 and 450 megawatts.

PGE estimated costs of between $255 million and $265 million to acquire turbines and construct the first phase of Biglow Canyon.

Although wrap-up work and final accounting is still underway, overall project costs are expected to remain within that range.

Part of the cost of the project is being offset by the Energy Trust of Oregon, Inc., which is contributing $6 million.

In addition to generating power for PGE customers, the wind farm is expected to create jobs, provide income for local businesses, generate future tax revenues, and provide easement payments to landowners.

The Biglow Canyon project was developed by Orion Energy LLC and is being built by PGE, which will own and operate the project.