Dec. 8, 2020
Portland, Ore.— Portland General Electric Company (NYSE: POR) today announced the start of commercial power generation at the Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facility in Eastern Oregon. Wheatridge is a joint project of PGE and a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC. This ground-breaking new facility marks a milestone in Oregon’s acceleration to a clean energy future and will play an important role in achieving PGE’s recently established companywide goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.
“Customers want and expect cleaner, greener energy sources,” said Maria Pope, PGE president and CEO. “This is an exciting step toward completion of this important resource and adds to our growing wind generation portfolio. We deeply appreciate the partnerships that make the Wheatridge project possible, with NextEra and with the transmission services teams at the Bonneville Power Administration and Umatilla Electric Cooperative.”
Wheatridge will be one of the first large-scale energy facilities in the United States to combine wind, solar and battery storage resources at a single location. The 300-megawatt wind farm is now complete and delivering power to PGE customers. The 50-megawatt solar and 30-megawatt battery facilities will be completed by the end of 2021.
“An important community effort like Wheatridge needs teamwork, and I’m happy to have teamed up over the years with PGE, Umatilla Electric, Morrow County, farmers like Jerry Rietmann and all the local officials to help this exciting Eastern Oregon project get over any hurdles,” U.S. Senator Ron Wyden said. “The latest good news about the wind farm part of this innovative renewable energy project will have huge benefits when it comes both to facing the climate crisis and generating good rural jobs.”
With the addition of Wheatridge’s wind farm, PGE’s wind generation portfolio now totals more than 1,000 megawatts (one gigawatt) nameplate capacity, available from five owned or contracted wind farms in the Northwest – typically generating enough power to serve the equivalent of 340,000 homes. When complete, the solar and battery storage facilities will be among the largest in Oregon.
“Projects like Wheatridge Energy Facility provide family-wage jobs, tax revenue for our schools and services and strengthen Morrow County’s position in the region’s clean energy economy,” said Don Russell, Morrow County commissioner. “We’re pleased to play a part in providing clean energy to Oregonians.”
Located just northeast of Lexington in Morrow County, Oregon, Wheatridge’s wind farm generates power using 120 wind turbines manufactured by GE Renewable Energy, Inc. The facility uses a mix of 2.3-megawatt and 2.5-megawatt machines. Final selection of the specific equipment to be used at the associated solar farm and battery storage facility is still pending.
Up to 300 jobs were created at Wheatridge during construction of the wind farm; up to 175 workers will be employed to build the solar and storage sites. Approximately 10 full-time employees will operate the combined facilities once all three components are fully commissioned for service.
“Our long-term partnership with PGE has created family-wage jobs in our community and brought clean-energy innovations like the Wheatridge Energy Facility,” said Ryan Neal, general manager of the Port of Morrow. “This makes our region more attractive, competitive and desirable for residents and business.”
Ownership and construction
The project’s early development work as a wind farm was performed by Swaggart Wind Power, LLC, an affiliate of MAP® Energy. NextEra Energy Resources purchased the development rights and together with PGE expanded the project scope to include solar generation and battery storage.
Power from the project will reach PGE customers in Portland and the north Willamette Valley via a new transmission line, constructed by Umatilla Electric Cooperative, that connects Wheatridge locally with the Bonneville Power Administration’s regional high-voltage grid.
PGE now owns 100 megawatts of the wind project. A subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources owns the balance of the project and will sell its output to PGE under 30-year power purchase agreements. The NextEra Energy Resources’ subsidiary is building and will operate the combined facility.
PGE expects to invest approximately $155 million for its owned portion of the project.
About Portland General Electric Company: Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) is a fully integrated energy company based in Portland, Oregon, with operations across the state. The company serves 899,000 customers with a service area population of 1.9 million Oregonians in 51 cities. PGE has 16 generation plants in five Oregon counties, and maintains and operates 14 public parks and recreation areas. For over 130 years, PGE has delivered safe, affordable and reliable energy to Oregonians. Together with its customers, PGE has the No. 1 voluntary renewable energy program in the U.S. PGE and its 3,000 employees are working with customers to build a clean energy future. In 2019, PGE, employees, retirees and the PGE Foundation donated $4.7 million and volunteered 32,900 hours with more than 700 nonprofits annually across Oregon. For more information visit portlandgeneral.com/cleanvision.
Safe Harbor Statement
Statements in this news release that relate to future plans, objectives, expectations, performance, events and the like may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such forward-looking statements include statements concerning the future performance of the Tucannon River Wind Farm and other expected benefits of the project, as well as other statements identified by words including, but not limited to, “will,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “intends,” “estimates,” “promises,” “expects,” “should,” “conditioned upon” and similar expressions. Investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, including regulatory, operational and legal matters, as well as other factors that could affect the deployment and successful operation of turbines at the Tucannon River Wind Farm project. As a result, actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements included in this news release are based on information available to the Company on the date hereof and such statements speak only as of the date hereof. The Company assumes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Prospective investors should also review the risks and uncertainties listed in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and the Company’s reports on Forms 8-K and 10-Q filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, including Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation and the risks described therein from time to time.