Avangrid Renewables, LLC, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. announced that it has achieved commercial operation at its 200 Megawatt (MW) Golden Hills wind farm in Sherman County, Oregon. The facility, which provides enough clean, renewable electricity to Puget Sound Energy (PSE) to power over 60,000 homes annually, began operations on April 29, 2022.
The project will help PSE meet its goals to reduce carbon dioxide emissions while providing additional capacity to serve customers, particularly during winter periods of high electricity demand. The project is Avangrid Renewables’ 7th wind project in Sherman County, 11th in Oregon, and 14th in the Pacific Northwest.
“Delivering on this project represents an important milestone for Avangrid Renewables as we continue to build on our robust portfolio of project in the Pacific Northwest region and advance our position as a leading renewable energy developer in the U.S.,” said Jose Antonio Miranda, Avangrid Renewables’ president and CEO, Onshore. “We are pleased to work with Puget Sound Energy to help it meet its ambitious goals to reduce emissions and provide clean, reliable power to its customers.”
“We are excited for this next step and what this partnership with Avangrid Renewables means as we continue to build on our history of championing renewable energy in the Pacific Northwest,” said Ron Roberts, PSE vice president of energy supply. “This new wind project will enable us to expand our efforts toward providing clean, reliable electric service to all of our customers as we work together to create a clean energy future for all.”
The Power Purchase Agreement for the project was signed in May 2020 as part of PSE’s commitment to the environment and deep decarbonization by investing in more wind energy. The addition of the Golden Hills wind project increases PSE’s owned and contracted wind fleet to over 1,150 megawatts.
The Golden Hills Wind Farm is located near the town of Wasco, Oregon. The project, which includes 41 Vestas V150 4.3 MW turbines and 10 GE 116 2.5 MW turbines, is spread across approximately 28,000 acres of grazing and dry-land wheat farmland held by 37 landowners. Avangrid Renewables started construction on the project in May 2020.
The project has already delivered substantial economic benefits to the region during the construction phase, including the creation of 315 jobs. The project will employ approximately 13 full-time employees moving forward and is expected to deliver over $220 million in landowner payments and local taxes over the lifetime of the project, providing a valuable source of revenue to local economies.
Avangrid Renewables acquired the Golden Hills project in September 2017 from the original developer of the project, Orion Wind Resources LLC, a joint venture between Orion Renewable Energy Group LLC (Orion) and Eolian.
“Orion has been working with farmers, ranchers, and elected officials in Sherman County since 2000,” said Reid Buckley, a founding partner of Orion. “We’re very pleased that another of our Sherman County projects will be providing an additional source of revenue to hardworking local farmers and ranchers and will be continuing to support local schools and county government through property tax payments.”
“Eolian and its partners are committed to rapidly accelerating the deployment of cost-effective large-scale decarbonizing technologies across the U.S. that transition power markets to a cleaner and more resilient future,” said Aaron Zubaty, CEO of Eolian. “Orion’s perseverance in the development of this project for more than 17 years is a long-lasting win for both Sherman County’s tax base as well as the ratepayers in PSE’s service territory.