PGE Enters Discussions To Purchase Wind Farm Rights From RES Americas

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Portland General Electric Co. (PGE) has entered into a preliminary agreement with Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. (RES Americas) to negotiate the purchase of development rights assets for the Rock Creek Wind Farm in Gilliam County, Ore. The agreement gives PGE exclusive rights to purchase the project through the end of the year.

‘We're going to need significant new renewable-generating resources in coming years as we work to meet Oregon's renewable energy standards,’ says Jim Lobdell, PGE vice president for power operations and resource strategy.

RES Americas is currently pursuing state permits for the proposed facility, which would occupy leased sites in eastern Oregon and have a nameplate energy production capacity of 400 MW to 550 MW, depending on the size and number of turbines.

The facility may encompass up to 68,000 acres, although as with other wind farms, most of the land would still be available for agriculture or other productive uses, depending on specific turbine sites. RES Americas anticipates that construction could begin as early as 2013, but is more likely to occur in phases beginning in 2014 or 2015.

PGE has filed a request with the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) for a waiver of the commission's competitive-bidding guidelines with regard to the project. PGE is seeking the waiver because of the length of time that would be required to complete the competitive-bidding process and the limited duration of PGE's exclusivity period to act on this opportunity.

Specific terms of the preliminary agreement with RES Americas have been filed with the OPUC, but are expected to remain confidential until and unless the parties sign a definitive agreement and satisfy related conditions.

SOURCE: Portland General Electric Co.

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