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Ore. agency issues draft order paving way for approval of 500-MW wind farm

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Ore. agency issues draft order paving way for approval of 500-MW wind farm

TheOregon Department of Energy is recommending that state siting regulators granta site certificate for the 500-MW Wheatridgewind energy facility.

'sproject is proposed to be built on 13,097 acres of privately owned land inMorrow and Umatilla counties, Ore. It consists of up to 292 turbines dividedinto two groups, Wheatridge East and West, connected by overhead 230-kVtransmission lines.

OregonDepartment of Energy employees serve as staff to the state's Energy FacilitySiting Council, which approves generation projects for construction. Thedepartment received a preliminary application from Wheatridge Wind Energy in December2014, and regulators in July 2015 determinedthat application was complete. On April 27, the department issued a recommending that the siting council to grant a site certificate for theproject.

Therecommendation to grant a site certificate for the project comes withconditions, including those that call for construction to start within threeyears of the effective date of the siting certificate and for construction tobe done it within six years. Others would require construction contractors tohave "substantial experience" in design, engineering and constructionof similar facilities for the certificate holder to take steps to mitigatepotential adverse impacts to soil.

Thecouncil has scheduled a public hearing on the draft proposed order for May 19.Comments are also due on that date.

WheatridgeWind Energy is owned by Oregon-based Swaggart Wind Power LLC, which is a jointventure of Leprechaun Holdings LLC, an Oregon development company, and threeinvestment funds managed by MAP Royalty Inc.