Oregon council sites 399 MW Saddle Butte wind power project

The Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council issued a final order for a site certificate for Saddle Butte Wind at its Nov. 3 meeting, with the site certificate then executed on Nov. 17.

Under this approval, wind farm construction must begin by Nov. 17, 2019, and be completed by Nov. 17, 2022.

The facility will be located in Gilliam and Morrow counties, about 20 miles south of the Columbia River between Eightmile Canyon and State Highway 74. The transmission line will be located within an existing 230-kV transmission corridor and will use structures previously approved for the Shepherds Flat Wind Farm (now known as Shepherds Flat North, Shepherds Flat Central and Shepherds Flat South).

Saddle Butte Wind is a unit of Columbia Wind, which is a unit of Caithness Energy.

The Saddle Butte Wind Park and related and supporting facilities are to be located on about 13,555 acres in Gilliam and Morrow counties. This project will have an average electric generating capacity of up to 133 MW and a maximum generating capacity of up to 399 MW. It includes up to 133 wind turbines. Each wind turbine would have a generating capacity of about 1.6 MW to 3.0 MW.

Related and supporting facilities include: a power collection system; up to two collector substations; up to 21.5 miles of single or double”circuit above-ground 230″kV transmission lines; up to six permanent meteorological (met) towers; up to two operations and maintenance (O&M) buildings; supervisory and data acquisition systems (SCADA) and lines, on each turbine; up to 30 miles of new road; and, temporary construction areas.

The power collection system includes up to 158 miles of mostly underground 34.5 kV collector lines that transport power from each turbine to the collector substations. There are up to two collector substations located within the site boundary, one in the northern turbine layout area and one in the southern turbine layout area. The substation transformers are to convert the 34.5 kV power from the collection system to 230 kV for transmission to the Bonneville Power Administration’s Slatt Substation and to the regional transmission system.

This project dates back to a notice of intent to apply from the company filed with the council in 2009, and a preliminary application lodged in 2012.

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Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy's Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication's editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor's degree from Central Michigan University.

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