WASHINGTON, D.C., November 14, 2001 — Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham today announced the department’s Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) will purchase the entire output of a wind project in Gilliam County, Ore.
When completed, the project will become the largest wind project constructed in the state of Oregon.
“Last spring, I announced a critical step with the potential of making Bonneville one of the largest suppliers of wind power in the country,” Secretary Abraham said. “This project is a step forward in our efforts to diversify energy resources and strengthen America’s energy security.”
In June, Secretary Abraham announced that BPA had selected seven wind projects totaling 830 megawatts for negotiations of predevelopment agreements. This project, started last year, will provide BPA with experience in integrating wind energy into their transmission and hydropower systems, experience which will prove invaluable as the larger effort progresses. The project announced today will provide electricity for about 6,350 people. The first stage of the 49.8-megawatt project is projected to be completed by the end of the year.
“As the demand for electricity increases, we need to find environmentally sound ways to augment energy production,” Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) said. “Hopefully, this will be just the beginning of an increasing reliance on alternative fuel sources.”
BPA signed an agreement with SeaWest Windpower of San Diego, Calif. to buy the output of a project already under construction near Condon, Ore. By the middle of 2002, a total of 83 wind turbines will be generating power for BPA’s portfolio of “environmentally preferred” power.
“The project will provide us with a great opportunity to understand how to integrate wind power into the BPA system,” said Steve Wright, acting BPA Administrator.
BPA is a federal agency, under the U.S. Department of Energy, that markets wholesale hydroelectric power primarily from the federal hydroelectric projects in the Columbia River Basin. BPA owns and operates about three-quarters of the Pacific Northwest’s total transmission capacity. BPA customers include publicly owned and investor-owned utilities, as well as some large industries.