PNNL Makes Significant Purchase of Wind Power

April 30, 2003

Photo of Stateline wind power facility.

PNNL receives more than 13 percent of the energy it needs to operate its research laboratories and offices from wind power.

In response to a challenge from Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham to increase Federal agency procurement of green power, DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) completed a purchase of 8.8 million kilowatthours of power generated from the Stateline Wind Energy Center. The purchase agreement was made on October 1, 2002 through the City of Richland, Washington, for a 1-year period and includes an option for delivery for 2 additional years.

The Stateline wind power facility, owned by FPL Energy, straddles the Washington-Oregon border and is located 23 miles west of Walla Walla, Washington. The site's wind turbines began supplying renewable power in July 2001. The 50-square-mile wind farm consists of 399 turbines arranged in numerous "strings," located entirely on private farmland, with 273 turbines in Washington and 126 in Oregon. The facility's 660-kilowatt V47 turbines were manufactured by Vestas American Wind Technology, Inc. Agricultural activities, such as dryland wheat and cattle grazing, take place directly adjacent to the access roads and foundation pads of the turbines.

An additional 90 turbines have been permitted and are being installed. In addition, FPL Energy has applied for a permit to add 177 turbines in the Oregon portion of the wind farm.

With this purchase, more than 13 percent of the energy PNNL needs to operate its research Laboratories and offices is now being met by renewable energy sources, making the Laboratory one of the leaders in the Federal sector for the use of "green energy." This purchase also will diversify the region's electricity portfolio and continue to stimulate a new energy economy in the Pacific Northwest region. The large purchase of wind power also paved the way for the City of Richland to launch a green energy program so current electric customers can purchase green energy for a small premium.

Dr. Raymond Orbach, Director of DOE's Office of Science, which oversees PNNL, announced the purchase while visiting PNNL for the annual review of program activities. Richard Moorer, DOE Deputy Assistant Secretary for Technology Development, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, joined Orbach in making the announcement in Richland.

"With this purchase, PNNL is showing it supports the President's energy strategy and that it is a national leader in boosting renewable energy and energy efficiency," Orbach noted. "At the same time, PNNL is promoting the growth and success of an up-and-coming Northwest industry and again is partnering with local and regional energy providers."

For more information, please contact Mike Moran of PNNL at 509-372-2680 or