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Shepherds Flat wind farm operational in Oregon

The 845-megawatt Shepherds Flat Wind Farm in Oregon – said to be one of the world’s largest – is now operational.

The project, developed by Caithness Energy, has a 20-year power purchase agreement with Southern California Edison. It will provide enough power for 235,000 homes and take out 1.483 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Located near the town of Arlington in the northeastern portion of Oregon, Shepherds Flat will have an annual economic impact of $37 million for the state. Construction employed over 400 workers and the project’s operations will create 45 permanent jobs.

Oregon has been making strides in developing their wind power economy. According to the American Wind Energy Association, Oregon has about 2,513 MW of wind power installed in 2011 and 640 MW under construction in 2012. The wind power sector created around 2 thousand to 3 thousand jobs in the state in 2011.

Caithness Energy partnered with the public and private sectors for the Shepherds Flat farm. This included GE Energy Financial Services, Tyr Energy, Sumitomo Corporation and Google.

Shepherds Flat is the largest of the wind investments that Google has made since it started expanding its green portfolio in 2010. Google invested $100 million in Shepherds Flat in 2011.

To date, Google has invested more than $915 million in the renewable energy sector, focusing on sun and wind. The projects supported by Google have an estimated generating capacity of 1.8 GW. – EcoSeed Staff

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