Portland, OR, August 03, 2007 –- A 131-foot-long wind turbine blade stretched across most of a city block in downtown Portland today, on display to the public before it goes to work generating power.
The 16,000-pound unit, which looks like a gigantic airplane propeller blade, is on its way to Portland General Electric’s (PGE) new Biglow Canyon Wind Farm, which is under construction in Sherman County.
When the unit is mounted on a generator, it is expected to bear the imprint of thousands of PGE renewable power customers. They are lining up today and Saturday to autograph the blade with black felt-tip pens.
“The ‘Road to Biglow’ starts right here,” said Peggy Fowler, PGE CEO and president. “These customers are the reason the Pacific Northwest has become one of the world’s leading wind power producers. Seeing and signing this blade lets everyone share the excitement of wind power — in a very big way.”
The federal government ranks PGE’s residential customers number one in the United States for renewable power consumption. More than 55,000 households subscribe to a PGE renewable power option.
The public can get an up-close look at the technology from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today and Saturday, Aug. 3, on Southwest First Avenue between Salmon and Taylor streets, while listening to live music and learning from educational displays.
Plus, customers who enroll in PGE Renewable Power on the spot will be invited to sign their names on the blade before it heads east on I-84 to the Biglow Canyon Wind Farm.* Current PGE renewable customers who show a recent bill or Renewable Report newsletter may also sign the blade. For more information visit RoadToBiglow.com.
Wind power generation helps fight global warming, because it creates no carbon dioxide (CO2). In that spirit, PGE will acquire carbon offsets equal to the CO2 generated by the Road To Biglow event.
Wind turbine blades, manufactured by Vestas, are comprised of carbon fiber, wood, fiberglass and epoxy, are both strong and flexible and can withstand wind gusts of up to 133 miles per hour. PGE expects the Biglow Canyon Wind Farm to begin generating electricity in October. By the end of the year, 76 turbines will spin there, generating up to 125 million watts — enough to power 34,000 homes in the utility’s service territory. PGE expects that when all phases of the farm are complete, it will be able to supply more than 100,000 homes.
In addition to selling 100 percent renewable energy to retail customers, PGE includes wind farms like Biglow Canyon in its regular supply mix, helping balance its portfolio of power supplies.
The Biglow Canyon project was developed by Orion Energy LLC and will be built, owned and operated by PGE. It is funded in part by the Energy Trust of Oregon.
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PGE, headquartered in Portland, is a fully integrated electric utility that serves more than 800,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Oregon.
*Customers will not have electricity from a specific generation facility delivered directly to their homes or businesses. Their purchase allows renewable power to be delivered to the Northwest power grid equal to their household’s annual electricity use or a portion thereof, depending on the product they choose.
For more information, contact:
Mark Fryburg, PGE, 503-464-8481