Tucannon River Wind Farm, Washington, United States of America
Tucannon River Wind Power Plant, previously known as Lower Snake River Phase II, is a 267MW onshore wind farm being developed by Puget Sound Energy (PSE) for the project's owner Portland General Electric (PGE). The project is located alongside PSE's 343MW Lower Snake River Wind Facility Phase I in Columbia and Garfield Counties of Washington, which started operations in 2012.
Touted to be one of the biggest wind projects owned by PGE, the Tucannon River wind farm will produce clean renewable energy that will be sufficient to serve around 84,000 homes in western Oregon. The total project cost is estimated to reach $500m.
Construction works for the project started in September 2013 and are expected to be completed in 2015. The wind turbines installation is expected to commence in 2014. The project is expected to generate approximately 300 construction jobs and 18 permanent jobs during operations and maintenance phase.
Background to Tucannon River wind project
PGE acquired the development rights for the wind farm from PSE prior to the start of construction activities and selected Renewable Energy Systems Americas (RES Americas) as the balance of plant (BOP) contractor.
The project was selected over 64 bids constituting 39 different renewable energy project proposals. The project, along with the existing facilities owned by PGE, will enable PGE meet Oregon's renewable energy standards, which require to supply 15% of the power the company delivers to its customers from renewable sources starting from 2015 and 25% from 2025.
The construction timing and project milestones are planned to enable the project to qualify for federal production tax credits that will reduce the cost for the wind farm's customers by approximately $253m during the life of the project.
Tucannon River wind farm make-up
A total of 116 Siemens SWT-2.3-108 wind turbines, rated at 2.3MW each, will be installed at the 20,000 acre project site. The nacelles and hubs will be assembled at Siemens' nacelle assembly facility in Hutchinson, Kansas, while the 348 blades will be manufactured at its production facility in Fort Madison, Iowa.
The turbines will be mounted on cylindrical type steel towers with a hub height of approximately 80m. Each rotor will sweep an area of 9,144m2 at 16 rotations per minute (rpm) and have a diameter of 108m. Each rotor will weigh 60t, while each nacelle will weigh 82t.
The advanced blade technology will allow the turbines to be operational even during moderate wind conditions. The length of the self-supporting blades is 53m.
Ancillary facilities including offices, power collection and distribution infrastructure will also be constructed as part of the project.
Contractors involved with PGE's wind farm
The general contractor for the project is RES Americas Construction. The turbines will be supplied and installed by Siemens as part of a contract awarded in August 2013. Siemens has also signed a five-year service and maintenance agreement for the project.