DOE Finalizes Loan Guarantee for Giant Oregon Wind Project

December 16, 2010

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced on December 16 that it had finalized a partial loan guarantee for a $1.3 billion loan to support the world's largest wind farm to be located in eastern Oregon. The loan will finance the Caithness Shepherds Flat project, an 845-megawatt wind generation facility sponsored by Caithness Energy, LLC and GE Energy Financial Services. The company estimated that the wind farm will avoid more than 1.2 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide from approximately 200,000 passenger vehicles. Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski said collaborative efforts among federal, state, and local governments as well as the private sector created the opportunity for the project.

Caithness Shepherds Flat will use 338 GE 2.5xl wind turbines. This is the first wind farm in North America to deploy these turbines, which have been used in Europe and Asia. Once completed, the project will sell 100% of the power and renewable energy credits generated to Southern California Edison under 20-year fixed price power purchase agreements. See the DOE press release.