The Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facility in Morrow County, Oregon is a pioneering project and the first utility-scale power plant in North America to integrate the wind, solar, and battery storage in one place.
Portland General Electric, a utility business, must cut emissions of electricity supplied to consumers by 80% before the end of the decade in accordance with a 2021 state law. NextEra Energy Resources created the project.
With the Wheatridge project, we’re speeding up Oregon’s switch to clean energy and demonstrating to the country what the future of renewable energy looks like, according to Maria Pope, president, and chief executive officer of PGE.
According to GreenBiz, the power plant’s combined 300 MW of wind, 50 MW of solar, and 30 MW of battery capacity could supply the energy needs of nearly 100,000 families. There are already nine other similar hybrid renewable power plants under construction, some of which are also being developed by NextEra Energy, and the renewable energy project is already setting an example.
The complex comprises one of the biggest solar plants in the state and 120 wind turbines, featuring a mix of 2.3 and 2.5-megawatt machines. This project has one of the largest battery storage facilities in the country.
According to Portland General Electric, the combination of various renewable energy sources can increase energy reliability. Energy is produced by wind and solar technologies with solar panels operating during the day and wind turbines operating ideally overnight for a consistent energy flow. The energy is then stored in batteries for usage at any time, even on days when it is neither windy nor sunny.
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Rebecca Kujawa, president, and chief executive officer of NextEra Energy Resources, said in a statement that the convergence of wind, solar, and energy storage at one location is a big development for renewable technology. Over the course of the project, these facilities will produce low-cost, locally-produced energy and add millions of dollars in tax revenue to Morrow County.
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100 MW of the wind farm is owned by Portland General Electric. The 200 MW of wind project, together with all of the solar and battery capacities, is owned and operated by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources. It will sell its output via 20- and 30-year power purchase agreements. The Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facility brochure states that the project also pays landowners and does not obstruct the use of the land for agriculture.
The Wheatridge project replaces the final coal power plant operated by Portland General Electric, which was shut down in October 2020.