Wind-energy company sets sights on Oregon coast

Source: The Associated Press • Posted: Monday, April 22, 2013

COOS BAY, ORE. — A Washington company intends to moor five wind turbines off the Oregon coast, and hopes the project dovetails with a separate proposal for liquefied natural gas.

Reluctant fishermen on the southern Oregon coast agreed after six months to support Seattle-based Principle Power’s plans for a 30-megawatt wind energy flotilla off the waters of Coos Bay, The Coos Bay World reported ( ).

Nick Edwards, a representative of the fishermen’s Southern Oregon Ocean Resource Coalition, said support was hard to come by.

“It’s better to work with these people and be part of the process,” Edwards said. “It’s still not going to make a bunch of people happy.

The company plans to anchor its proposed wind farm beyond the three-mile limit, outside of state jurisdiction and under federal law. The wind energy platforms would be anchored in about 1,000 feet of water.

The company received a $4 million grant from the Department of Energy in March. The initial grant could expand to as much as $47 million. The port has named the endeavor Project Effectuate.

Kevin Bannister, Principle Power’s vice president of business and government affairs, said the project is one of seven wind technology demonstrations selected by the Energy Department.

Of the seven, Principle’s is the only West Coast proposal. The agency plans to narrow the list to three projects after the initial planning and test phase.

A liquefied natural gas terminal planned for the North Spit of Coos Bay would provide some cost-saving infrastructure for the project.

“This project happens on almost exactly the same timeline as Jordan Cove,” Bannister said.

Bannister said the wind project would benefit from infrastructure provided by Jordan Cove Energy Project. But the company could move forward without the LNG terminal.

“Plan A is Jordan Cove,” Bannister said. “Plan B is not so good. Plan B is harder.”