DOE Backs Oregon Wind Project with $1.3B Loan

A $1.3 billion loan from the U.S. Department of Energy helps back what will be one of the world’s largest wind farms, the U.S. Energy Secretary has confirmed.

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the loan would finance the construction of the Caithness Shepherds Flat wind farm in Oregon.

Chu said investing in renewable energy projects like the Oregon wind farm would give the United States an advantage in a clean energy economy.

“By leveraging our nation’s vast natural resources, we can help provide alternative sources of energy and stimulate economic growth and job creation,” he said in a statement.

The wind farm will be situated on 32,000 acres south of the Columbia River. More than 330 wind turbines will spin to generate 845 megawatts of electricity. The wind farm will avoid more than 1.2 million tons of carbon dioxide each year, which is the same as pulling 200,000 cars off the road, the Energy Department said.

“When it is completed, Shepherds Flat will be one of the largest windmill farms in the world and will put Oregon on the map as a leader in green energy,” said U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

The project will sell 100 percent of the power from the wind farm to utility Southern California Edison under a 20-year contract.

Neither the Energy Department nor the project company, Caithness Development, LLC, offered a timeline for the project in their announcements.