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Portland General Electric (PGE) has agreed to buy the second phase of Puget Sound Energy Inc.'s Lower Snake River wind farm, located near Dayton, Wash., in a deal that could cost as much $535 million.

According to PGE, RES Americas Construction will build the 267 MW wind farm, which will feature 116 Siemens 2.3 MW wind turbines. The transaction is expected to close in August 2013, subject to customary conditions.

PGE will own and operate the facility, creating up to 300 jobs during construction and about 18 full-time operating positions. The facility is expected to be complete in 2015 and generate enough power to serve about 84,000 residential customers. The timing of construction and project milestones has been structured to enable the project to qualify for federal production tax credits that will reduce the cost of the facility for PGE’s customers by approximately $253 million during the life of the project.

Phase two of the Lower Snake River project was the best-performing proposal from among 64 bids representing 39 distinct generating projects that were submitted in response to PGE’s request for proposals for renewable resources.

Together with PGE's existing owned and contracted renewable power generating resources, the new wind facility will allow PGE to comply with state standards requiring the utility to supply 15% of the power it delivers to customers from qualifying renewable sources beginning in 2015.

PGE has also signed a new memorandum of understanding with the Bonneville Power Administration to seek mutual transmission capacity solutions, resulting in the company’s decision to suspend permitting and development of the proposed Cascade Crossing transmission project.


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