Google Invests $100 Million in Oregon Wind Farm
Earlier this year, Google, Inc. announced that it had invested $100 million into the Shepherd’s Flat wind farm in eastern Oregon. The 845-megawatt wind-generation facility will be the world’s largest land-based wind farm.
The project, which is being constructed by Caithness Energy, covers 30 square miles across Gilliam and Morrow counties near Arlington. Once completed, the project will generate enough energy to supply more than 235,000 homes and will avoid more than 1.2 million tons of carbon dioxide a year (equivalent to the carbon dioxide from more than 200,000 cars). The power will be sold to Southern California Edison, a California-based utility, to help it meet its renewable energy requirements. The project is expected to inject $16 million annually into Oregon, in addition to creating 400 temporary and 35 permanent jobs.
The project is more than 50% complete. Work on the substations, interconnection facilities, transmission lines, and electricity collection systems is complete, and all wind turbine foundations have been built. The project’s first phase, which includes 70 turbines, will be finished by the end of November. All 338 turbines are expected to be operational by August 2012. The total cost of the project is expected to be $2 billion.