On May 17, the Governor-appointed Energy Facility Siting Council approved a proposal for the Stateline Wind Project to “re-power” up to 43 of its existing wind turbines.
The Stateline Wind Project was the first state-jurisdictional wind farm approved in Oregon. It’s located on the Oregon/Washington border, just north of the small Oregon town of Helix (population 184). Stateline received its first site certificate, which approved the facility for construction, in 2001. Now, it’s Oregon’s first state-jurisdictional wind farm to get approval to re-power.
Wind turbine technology has changed a lot in the last 18 years. Re-powering involves replacing the existing turbine blades and the nacelles (the part that houses the generating components), while keeping the base of the turbine intact. At Stateline, the project owner is ready to repower up to 43 of the turbines on site to make electricity generation more efficient – the nacelles will have more advanced gear and the turbine blades will increase from 416 feet to 440 feet in length. Once repowered, the turbines will be able to generate electricity with lower wind speeds.
It’s an exciting update for renewable energy in Oregon. With re-powering, part of the wind turbines can be refurbished, rather than being decommissioned with parts that are recycled or end up in a landfill. As more Oregon wind farms creep up toward their 20th birthdays, we may see more of these re-power proposals.
Learn more about energy facilities in Oregon and the Energy Facility Siting Council on the Oregon Department of Energy’s website.