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845 MW of Oregon Wind Power Going to California

An enormous wind farm in Oregon is now generating about 845 MW for California. The Shepherds Flat Wind Farm has 338 turbines from General Electric. Each is rated at 2.5 MW.


Shepherds Flat is one of the largest wind farms in the world. It is located in Eastern Oregon near Arlington, and has been estimated to benefit the local economy by about $16 million annually.

The cost for the GE2.5XL turbines and ten-year service agreement was about $1.4 billion, and the DOE provided a $1.3 billion loan. Google also invested in the project, to the tune of $100 million.

Power generated at Sheperds Flat will prevent about 1.5 million tons of CO2 from being added to the atmosphere each year. One estimate says that is the equivalent of CO2 from 260,000 passenger vehicles, each year.

About 400 jobs were created for the wind farm’s construction and 35-45 were added permanently to operate it. The facility became operational September 22. At that time, Senator Wyden remarked: “This project proves that we can create jobs and lift up the rural economy by generating clean, carbon-free, renewable energy while still allowing local ranchers to graze their herds on the surrounding land just as they have for generations. That’s why I fought so hard to make sure Shepherds Flat stayed on track, and why I’m proud to be standing here today.”

It’s very curious that stories of failure like Solyndra receive much attention in the mainstream media, but success stories like Sheperd Flats apparently don’t rate as highly on their radar. American wind power capacity has doubled since 2008, but where is all the press about this important and beneficial trend?

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