The first utility-scale facilities to co-locate wind, solar and battery storage makes the clean energy future a reality in Oregon
Link for photos: Wheatridge commissioning photos
LEXINGTON, Ore., Sept. 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, state and local leaders joined NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, and Portland General Electric (PGE) to celebrate the commissioning of the first utility-scale energy facilities in North America to co-locate wind, solar and battery storage, generating renewable power for customers.
Near Lexington in Morrow County, Oregon, Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facilities includes 300 megawatts of wind, 50 megawatts of solar and 30 megawatts of battery storage. Together, these technologies provide reliable power from renewable, carbon-free resources.
"Bringing wind, solar and energy storage together at one site is quite a significant moment for renewable technologies. We're pleased to work with Portland General Electric and help them achieve their decarbonization goals," said Rebecca Kujawa, president and CEO of NextEra Energy Resources, the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun, and a world leader in battery storage. "These facilities generate low-cost, homegrown energy and will provide millions of dollars in additional tax revenue to Morrow County over the life of the project."
Wheatridge plays a key role in helping PGE meet Oregon's targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power served to retail customers by at least 80% by 2030, 90% by 2035 and 100% by 2040. Wheatridge's capabilities allow it to power the equivalent of 100,000 homes, helping to create a cleaner and more resilient Oregon.
"By supporting innovative projects like Wheatridge, we continue to accelerate renewable energy solutions for our state, communities and customers, while maintaining reliability and affordability," said Maria Pope, president and CEO of Portland General Electric. "This partnership marks a technological milestone in decarbonizing our system and making clean energy accessible to all Oregonians."
"A major achievement like Wheatridge doesn't happen by osmosis – it requires teamwork and I'm happy to have teamed up over the years with PGE, Umatilla Electric, NextEra Energy Resources, local leaders and farmers like Jerry Rietmann to help this significant project reach this milestone moment," said U.S. Senator Ron Wyden. "Paired with the historic gains I worked to achieve on climate in the Inflation Reduction Act, this groundbreaking renewable energy project will deliver big benefits that generate good rural jobs in Eastern Oregon and move forward toward a clean energy future."
"It's because of projects like Wheatridge that Oregon is leading the way in growing our clean energy economy. Under my administration, Oregon has taken a comprehensive approach to reducing our carbon emissions and moving Oregon towards 100% clean energy on one of the most ambitious timelines in the nation," said Gov. Kate Brown. "I firmly believe we can move to 100% clean electricity sources and create good-paying jobs in rural Oregon at the same time.
"The urgency of getting clean energy projects online could not be clearer. Extreme heat, wildfires, drought, and winter storms – we are seeing the impacts of climate change in Oregon, with some of the biggest impacts in rural Oregon," added Brown. "Thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration, we now have the opportunity to pursue federal funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act to create clean energy jobs throughout the state."
Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facilities generate power using wind and solar technology. The battery storage system stores electricity not immediately used and delivers it when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining.
"We're pleased to have Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facilities located in Morrow County and to play a part in providing clean energy to Oregonians," said Don Russell, Morrow County Commissioner. "This facility provides jobs and tax revenue for our schools and county services while also supporting economic opportunities for the agricultural community. Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facilities also strengthens Morrow County's position in the region's clean energy economy."
The facilities brought a significant investment to the community. Construction of the Wheatridge wind farm, solar and storage sites created 300 jobs. Approximately 10 full-time employees operate the combined facilities.
The project's early development work as a wind farm was performed by Swaggart Wind Power, LLC, an affiliate of Eolian, L.P. NextEra Energy Resources purchased the development rights and together with PGE expanded the project scope to include solar generation and battery storage.
Power from Wheatridge will reach PGE customers 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 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- and 20-year power purchase agreements. The NextEra Energy Resources' subsidiary built and operates the combined facility.
NextEra Energy Resources
NextEra Energy Resources, LLC (together with its affiliated entities, "NextEra Energy Resources") is a clean energy leader and is one of the largest wholesale generators of electric power in the U.S., with approximately 24,600 megawatts of total net generating capacity, primarily in 38 states and Canada as of year-end 2021. NextEra Energy Resources, together with its affiliated entities, is the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun based on 2021 megawatt hours produced on a net generation basis, and a world leader in battery storage. The business operates clean, emissions-free nuclear power generation facilities in New Hampshire and Wisconsin as part of the NextEra Energy nuclear fleet. NextEra Energy Resources, LLC is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). For more information, visit www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.
About Portland General Electric Company
Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) is a fully integrated energy company based in Portland, Oregon. The company serves approximately 900,000 customers with a service area population of 2 million Oregonians in 51 cities. PGE owns 16 generation plants across Oregon and other Northwestern states and maintains and operates 9 public parks and recreation areas. For more than 130 years, PGE has powered the advancement of society, delivering safe, affordable, and reliable energy to Oregonians. PGE and its approximately 3,000 employees are working with customers to build a clean energy future. Together with its customers, PGE has the No. 1 voluntary renewable energy program in the U.S. PGE is committed to achieving at least an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from power served to customers by 2030 and 100% reduction by 2040. In 2021, PGE became the first U.S. utility to join The Climate Pledge. For the ninth year in a row PGE achieved a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Corporate Equality Index, a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality. In 2021, PGE, employees, retirees, and the PGE Foundation donated $4.8 million and volunteered 15,760 hours with more than 300 nonprofits across Oregon. For more information visit www.PortlandGeneral.com/news.
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SOURCE NextEra Energy Resources, LLC