DATE: SEPTEMBER 29, 2012
AUTHOR: VICKI GODAL
For renewable energy supporters, last week’s opening of the United States largest onshore wind farm in north-central Oregon, the Shepherds Flat facility is something to cheer about. Shepherds Flat will generate about 2 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) annually, powering 235,000 homes and eliminating about 1.5 million (1,500,000,000) metric tons of carbon pollution. Again, cheers!
Caithness Energy built Shepherds Flat with more than a billion dollars in Energy Department guaranteed loans (i.e. taxpayer’s dollars). However, with a long-term commitment to buy power from Southern California Edison and Google also investing $100 million dollars ($100,000,000.00) in Shepherd Flats, the future for wind power (http://www.examiner.com/topic/wind-power) in Oregon is bright. This is real progress for green energy despite obstacles in getting Production Tax Credits renewed in Congress. The failure of Solyndra is clearly taken personally in some government circles. Fortunately, clean energy isn’t just a political platform, it’s very real business sector in America.
According to a DBL Investors report, just two of the ten states with the fastest growth in clean-tech jobs, Hawaii and New York are Democratic. Add up the total number of clean-tech jobs per state and Republican Texas ranks a staggering third in the nation. Both Texas Governors Rick Perry and George W. Bush rode on wind energy (http://www.examiner.com/topic/wind-energy) incentive platforms in their state, and in 2010 Texas received eight percent (8%) of its state energy needs from wind.
In the Midwest, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback (http://www.examiner.com/topic/governor-sambrownback/articles) (R) continues to rally against the Republican party opposition to wind energy, citing the thousands of jobs at risk with the expiration of the Production Tax Credit. Meanwhile, in central Oregon, the Shepherds Flat wind facility goes about it’s business of capturing the wind.
For more information on Shepherds Flat, see: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shepherds_Flat_Wind_Farm
For more information on the renewal of the Production Tax Credit in the United States, see: www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?IncentiveCode=US13F
For more information on Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, see www.ontheissues.org/sam_brownback.htm