Stateline Turbines Harvesting the Windby Jennifer Hemmingsen
Capital Press, April 12, 2002
WALLULA JUNCTION, Wash. -- With the quiet whooshing of wind power in the background, about 100 people gathered at the Stateline Energy Center dedication near Wallula April 2.
The 399-turbine project came online last December, nine months after construction started in Oregon and Washington. It is the largest individually owned wind power electricity generator in the western United States.
When all turbines are running, the center generates about 263 megawatts of electricity -- enough to power 60,000 homes, according to FPL Energy, the Florida-based energy group that developed and operates the center.
"The Stateline Wind Project is exciting, not only because we need the 263 megawatts of electricity, but also because it highlights the Northwest as a development center for clean energy," said Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, she joined local and state officials from Oregon and Washington at the dedication.
"If we are to maintain our free markets and continue our economic growth, we must bring clean energy online worldwide."
Renewable Northwest Project Director Rachel Shimshak congratulated PacifiCorp Power Marketing and FPL Energy on their project partnership.
"Together, they have helped shape this project into a truly stunning example of clean energy technology," Shimshak said.
FPL officials hope to soon find space for 55 more turbines on the 50-square-mile center, said FPL Energy spokeswoman Mary Wells. They must be place so as to preserve habitat for a protected species of ground squirrel. The company also is scouting the area for other possible wind-farm locations but has no concrete plans for expansion or future development in the area.
FPL Energy officials have contracted with Vestas Wind Systems to buy 170 new turbines with an option to purchase 650 more, Wells said. The company's 14 wind farms in Oregon, Washington, Iowa, Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Kansas generate more then 1,400 megawatts of electricity. The company expects to build an additional 1,000 to 2,000 megawatts of wind energy projects by 2003.
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