USA - Wind power reaches 1,000-megawatt mark in Oregon

"a major milestone in the effort to include more clean, emission-free energy"

Wind-powered electricity traveling over Bonneville Power Administration transmission lines has cracked the 1,000-megawatt mark. It is "a major milestone in the effort to include more clean, emission-free energy" in the region's power supply, the federal agency said Friday.

The wind energy comes from projects in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon and Washington, where utilities and private developers have been on a multiyear push to increase supplies of renewable energy.

The wind power hooks into BPA's main transmission grid. It's then delivered to electricity users in the West, primarily in Oregon, Washington and California. The Portland-based agency markets more than one-third of the electricity used in the Northwest.

Wind is a highly variable resource. Those 1,000 megawatts of wind energy -- capable of powering about 680,000 homes -- weren't a constant force. Between Nov. 10 and Nov. 27, for example, wind energy exceeded that level 7 percent of the time, BPA said.

About 20 percent of the time, wind turbines put zero to 20 megawatts of electricity into the grid, and 73 percent of the time they produced 20 to 1,000 megawatts. "You've got major fluctuations," said Doug Johnson, a BPA spokesman.

To create a continuous flow of electricity, the wind power is blended with electricity from other sources, such as hydroelectric dams and gas-fired power plants.
Online editorial www.windfair.net
Edited by Trevor Sievert, Online Editorial Journalist
wind energy, wind farm, renewable energy, wind power, wind turbine, rotorblade, offshore, onshore

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