Oregon agency takes comment on changes for 400-MW Golden Hills Wind project

The Oregon Department of Energy is taking comment until Jan. 6 on a revised proposed order that would approve the latest series of changes for the 400-MW Golden Hills Wind Farm Project.

Golden Hills Wind Farm LLC, which is owned by the Orion Renewable Energy Group LLC, is seeking approval of Amendment 3 of the Golden Hills Wind Project Site Certificate. A first draft approval order was issued on Sept. 6, but it was withdrawn so new information could be added. This proposed third amendment includes the following components:

  • Extend the construction start and completion deadlines by two years;
  • Change the allowed wind turbine type to be taller and with a larger rotor diameter, and reduce the maximum number of turbines from 267 to 125;
  • Modify the related and supporting facilities to eliminate one of two previously approved substations and the 11-mile, 500-kV transmission interconnection line; relocate the single remaining substation to a central location within the site boundary and expand the substation area from 2 to 5 acres; modify the alignment of the previously approved 230-kV transmission line to run from the single substation to a Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) grid connection point; increase the height of six meteorological towers from 279 to 312 feet; and expand the width of temporary access roads;
  • Amend the site boundary to remove approximately 2,800 acres of land no longer needed for the facility; and
  • Expand the site boundary by approximately 122.5 acres to allow for construction of two short segments of 230-kV transmission line.

The Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council issued the original site certificate for the Golden Hills Wind Project in June 2009. The council approved two previous amendments to the site certificate, most recently in January 2015.

The requested amendments would reduce the maximum number of turbines from 267 to 125, but would still produce the same peak generating capacity of 400 MW. Facility construction had not yet commenced.

Under this latest amendment, the deadline for beginning construction would be extended from June 18, 2016, to June 18, 2018, and the deadline for completing construction would be extended from June 18, 2019, to June 18, 2021.

A project contact is: Golden Hills Wind Farm LLC, Reid Buckley, Vice President, Orion Renewable Energy Group LLC, 155 Grand Avenue, Suite 706, Oakland, CA 94612.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.