PGE Buys Into Montana Wind Farm

Photo: Ford, Brad

Portland General Electric Company (NYSE: POR) today announced plans to procure 311 megawatts of energy from the Clearwater Wind project, a 775-megawatt wind site in Montana being developed by NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE).

Located approximately 65 miles northeast of the Colstrip Generating Station, the wind farm will span Rosebud, Garfield and Custer counties in Montana. Portland General Electric’s (PGE) portion of the Clearwater Wind project is scheduled to be operational by December 31, 2023 and will provide PGE customers with additional power for approximately 125,000 homes.

“PGE’s stake in Clearwater will not only help in our state’s clean energy transition, but also create jobs and tax base in Montana, continuing our commitment to a state we have had an ongoing investment in for over four decades,” said Brett Sims, Vice President of Strategy, Regulation & Energy Supply at PGE. “By tapping into the most consistent renewable resources across the West, this project, along with other actions resulting from our 2021 RFP, will help ensure we can deliver clean and affordable energy to our customers.”

Project details

PGE’s power from Clearwater will be generated by 112 General Electric wind turbines. Clearwater was a top performing resource in PGE’s 2021 RFP, and the Montana wind resource is complementary to local generation regions in Oregon, such as the Columbia Gorge. The Clearwater project will deliver higher levels of production during the winter and summer, allowing PGE to serve its Oregon customers reliable clean energy and capture the benefits of regional diversity.

The power will be served to PGE customers through existing transmission on the NorthWestern Energy and BPA systems.

The development of Clearwater Wind project will provide up to 350 jobs during construction, and 20 full-time employees will operate the facility once it is commissioned for service. Puget Sound Energy contracted an initial phase of Clearwater’s 775 megawatt capacity, which is already under construction and expected to come online later this year.

Ownership and construction

The facility will serve 311 megawatts of wind generation to PGE’s customers in Oregon beginning in 2024, with construction slated to begin in 2022. PGE will own 208 megawatts of the project and has also entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, purchasing an additional 103 megawatts of power generated by the facility.

A subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources will build and operate the facility. The split ownership and PPA structure will allow efficient deployment of capital from both owners and utilization of tax credits available to wind energy producers, ultimately helping PGE pass savings along to customers.

Source: Portland General Electric

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