Caithness Shepherds Flat Commences Official Operations; Becomes One of the World's Largest Wind Farms
Project Delivers 845 Megawatts of Clean Energy to Power 235,000 American Homes
ARLINGTON, Ore., Sept. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Caithness Energy announced today that its Shepherds Flat Wind Farm is operational and generating up to 845 Megawatts of clean wind energy. The company's leaders, its project partners and government representatives gathered at the site today to mark the kick-off of operations.
"This is a great day for Gilliam and Morrow counties, for Oregon, and for the rest of the United States," said Senator Wyden. "This project proves that we can create jobs and lift up the rural economy by generating clean, carbon-free, renewable energy while still allowing local ranchers to graze their herds on the surrounding land just as they have for generations. That's why I fought so hard to make sure Shepherds Flat stayed on track, and why I'm proud to be standing here today."
"The completion of Caithness Shepherds Flat is an excellent example of how Oregon can attract significant investments in the building blocks of the future economy, showcasing our state as a key player in new economic growth and resilience," said Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber.
"It's great news that the Shepherds Flat project is now complete," said Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley. "Oregon is now host to one of the largest on-shore wind farms in the world, further establishing its role as a leader in the new clean energy economy. We can now look forward to 845 megawatts of new clean energy coming on the grid."
"This project has created jobs during a very tough time for rural areas of Oregon, and has added to the tax base as counties are struggling to provide basic services," said Oregon Representative Greg Walden. "Moreover, the wind energy produced at Caithness Shepherds Flat will be part of an 'all of the above' energy strategy that this country so desperately needs."
"Caithness Shepherds Flat is a prime example of smart energy – energy that simultaneously bolsters the economy, creates American jobs, and enhances our environment for future generations," said Derrel Grant, Vice President of Development at Caithness Energy. "By utilizing domestic renewable energy, Caithness Shepherds Flat will help make our country energy independent and our economy prosperous," continued Grant.
Located in northeastern Oregon near the town of Arlington, the project – one of the world's largest wind farms – will play an important role in harnessing the power of wind energy to advance the country's renewable energy capacity and bolster America's energy security. The project's output is contracted through 20-year power purchase agreements with Southern California Edison.
The clean electricity generated by Caithness Shepherds Flat will make a positive impact on the environment. The Wind Farm will eliminate 1.483 million metric tons of CO2 annually, the equivalent of taking approximately 260,000 cars off the road. In addition to its environmental benefits, Caithness Shepherds Flat will enhance Oregon's economy. Producing an estimated 2 billion kWh each year, the Wind Farm will have an annual economic impact of $37 million for the State. Additionally, the project employed over 400 workers during its construction, and will permanently employ 45 workers.
The Wind Farm resulted from a successful collaboration between the public and private sectors. To make the project a reality, Caithness Shepherds Flat leveraged the talents and expertise of world-class partners in the energy, technology and financial services sectors. Those leaders included Caithness Energy, GE Energy Financial Services, Google, Tyr Energy, and Sumitomo Corporation of America. The project also enjoys the support of Oregon's elected officials on the federal, state and local levels, and was one of the first clean energy projects to utilize the U.S. Department of Energy's loan guarantee program.
"The opening of Caithness Shepherds Flat, one of the world's largest wind farms, demonstrates that we can deploy renewable energy at scale with the help of private capital," said Rick Needham, Director of Energy & Sustainability at Google. "We're proud to have supported this project and we hope our involvement, and that of our partners, attracts more investors to this sector."
"Caithness Shepherds Flat represents a significant investment in our corporate mission: Committed to the Global Good," said Karl Usami, CEO & President of Tyr. "The project provides long term jobs and other economic benefits in the community, while making clean power available to thousands of homes and businesses across the region."
"We are delighted to see the completion of Caithness Shepherds Flat and the growth of clean and renewable energy in the U.S.," said Teruyuki Miyazaki, Executive Director, Power & Telecommunications Business Unit of Sumitomo Corporation of America. "Long-term conservation of the environment is important to Sumitomo and we continue to make investments in clean energy in the U.S. and globally."
About Caithness Energy
Caithness Energy is a pioneer in the development, acquisition, operation, and management of renewable energy and other clean projects in the United States. Other Caithness projects have included wind, solar, geothermal, and advanced technology combined cycle generation, which utilizes clean domestic natural gas. For more information, visit http://www.caithnessenergy.com/
About GE Energy Financial Services
GE Energy Financial Service is the energy investment arm of GE. The business works to help meet the world's power and fuel needs. Based in Stamford, Connecticut, GE Energy Financial Services holds an approximately $20 billion global energy portfolio. For more information, visit www.geenergyfinancialservices.com.
Google is a global technology leader focused on improving the ways people connect with information. Google's innovations in web search and advertising have made its website a top internet property and its brand one of the most recognized in the world. For more information about Google's green initiatives, contact email@example.com or visit www.google.com/green.
About Tyr Energy, Inc.
Based in Overland Park, Kansas, Tyr Energy, Inc. is wholly-owned by ITOCHU Corp. and ITOCHU International, Inc. The company and its affiliates own equity interests in 14 power projects located in Alabama, California, Georgia, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin, with total gross capacity of 7,000 MW. For more information, contact Brock Shealy at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.tyrenergy.com.
About Sumitomo Corporation of America
Sumitomo Corporation of America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation, a Japanese integrated trading and investment enterprise engaged in multifaceted business activities with consolidated assets of $87.8 billion. For more information, please visit www.sumitomocorp.com or contact Jewelle Yamada at email@example.com.
SOURCE Caithness Energy