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Oregon Wind Working Group Action Plan
Introduction
Oregon Wind Working Group’s Action Plan
For 
Achieving Its Strategic Objectives
 
November 2003
 
Partially funded under the US Department of Energy’s Wind Powering America initiative
 
OWWG Contact:
Oregon Department of Energy
625 Marion Street NE, Salem, OR 97301
Phone 503-378-4040
Fax 503-373-7806

energyweb.incoming@odoe.state.or.us.

 

Preface
 
Consistent with this Mission Statement, and with a view to removing obstacles to the development of wind energy in Oregon, the OWWG adopted the following:

Strategic Objectives
  1. Improve the prospects for Small Wind Systems.

  2. Evaluate the effectiveness of various Renewable Portfolio Standards.

  3. Streamline the state and local permitting processes for wind energy development.

  4. Work with stakeholders to develop information on Technical, Procedural/Legal and Economic (tariffs, rates, and fees) issues related to distributed (up to 20 MW) wind energy development.

  5. Work to identify and subsequently reduce transmission barriers. Promote appropriate upgrades to and expansion of the grid.

  6. Assist in the development of one or more locally owned small wind farms as demonstration projects.

  7. Investigate the desirability and feasibility of a wind resource assessment program to collect publicly owned wind characteristics data with 50-meter high meteorological towers.

  8. Provide technical support to stakeholders and increase the general public awareness regarding Oregon’s wind energy resources and their applications.

Mission Statement
 
A wind working group was formed in Oregon in July 2002 under the US Department of Energy’s Wind Powering America initiative. The Oregon Wind Working Group (“OWWG”) adopted the following Mission Statement
"The Oregon Wind Working Group will be a proactive group of individuals and organizations recognized for its cooperative efforts to promote the development of wind energy in Oregon, with an emphasis on rural economic development aspects of small and medium sized wind energy projects".

Action Plan
 
The purpose of this Action Plan is to provide a road map for achieving the OWWG’s Strategic Objectives for the period November 2003 through July 2004.
 
This document is a "work in progress" and may be expanded and/or refined as the OWWG matures and as activities are developed.
 
This Plan identifies key Action Items that must be completed in this time frame in order to achieve each of the OWWG’s Strategic Objectives. It establishes a deadline for completing each action item, and makes an OWWG subcommittee accountable for completing the item.

Strategic Objective #1: Improve the prospects for small wind systems.
 
Action Items
  1. Ongoing until achieved, work with stakeholders to make distributed generation interconnection procedures and net metering provisions clear and uniform throughout Oregon. [1]
  2. By March 1, 2004, develop Web-based information on net-metering and interconnection issues and regularly update that information.

  3. By March 1, 2004, initiate discussions with BPA, the Energy Trust of Oregon and others on how to expand the Trust’s anemometer loan program to all areas of Oregon.

  4. By March 1, 2004, initiate discussions with the Energy Trust of Oregon on how to expand the Trust’s incentives for small wind turbines.

  5. By July 1, 2004, develop a position on whether the maximum capacity for net metered wind turbines should be increased beyond 25 kW. If yes, include a recommended maximum size for such net metering and address the issue of the maximum net metering capacity per utility service area.

  6. After the development of OWWG’s position, make this position on net metering known to stakeholders including utilities, the Oregon Public Utilities Commission, and the Oregon Department of Energy.

  7. Responsible sub-committee: Small Wind Turbines

Strategic Objective # 2:

Evaluate the Effectiveness of Various Renewable Portfolio Standards. [2]
 
Action Items
  1. By January 31, 2004, initiate outreach to Oregon utilities about barriers to additional wind development in the state. Focus on interconnection issues for wind generation (small to large turbines/wind farms) as well as other potential concerns, such as cost and integration issues. Distribute survey and collect results by February 28, 2004.

  2. By January 31, 2004, initiate outreach to stake holders - such as the Farm Bureau and other agricultural organizations, environmental groups, wind developers, AARP, low income and consumer advocates – about the possibility of advancing an RPS in the 2005 legislature.

  3. By March 31, 2004, assess results of initial outreach and provide the information to the group that is formulating a preliminary RPS for Oregon and to those assembling the fact sheets for interconnection of distributed generation.

  4. By July 1, 2004, complete an investigation of the effectiveness of RPS in other states, and formulate a preliminary RPS for Oregon.

  5. By August 1, 2004, OWWG as a whole decides whether to propose an Oregon RPS to the 2005 Legislative Assembly.

  6. Responsible sub-committee: RPS

Strategic Objective 3: Streamline the state & local Permitting Processes for Wind Energy Development
 
Action Items
  1. Ongoing until new amendments have been adopted, assist in the development of needed revisions to Oregon Department of Environmental Quality administrative noise rules applicable to wind projects.

  2. By July 1, 2004, assess existing county wind development ordinances and, if determined necessary, propose a Model Ordinance for use in the state. Depending upon the availability of resources, this may involve

    • primarily review and suggested revisions to the Department of Energy’s proposed model ordinance and/or drafting a new model ordinance.
    • a review of ordinance language from other jurisdictions around the country that attempt to address property line setbacks for wind facilities (i.e., setbacks to protect “wind rights”—the ability of downwind property owners to be protected from upwind neighbors constructing new wind facilities that might degrade the property owner’s ability to develop his/her own wind facilities). That review would involve gathering examples of such language and a review of any court cases that have established precedent related to the protection of “wind rights.”

  3. By July 1, 2004, develop a guidance document for permitting small wind projects. (NWSeed will investigate whether it can do this project).
Responsible sub-committee: Permitting 
 

Strategic Objective #4:
 
Work with Stakeholders to Develop Information on Technical, Procedural/Legal and Economic (tariffs, rates, fees) Issues Related to Distributed (up to 20 MW) [3] Wind Power Development.
 
Action Items:
  1. By July 1, 2004, in collaboration with investor owned and publicly owned utilities, the Public Utilities Commission, the Energy Trust of Oregon and others, develop fact sheets related to connecting distributed wind generation projects to the grid. Address technical requirements, typical power purchase agreements and rates, load flows, system protection, etc. Use information from established projects where possible.

  2. Ongoing until established, assist in the development of uniform statewide interconnection rules and model agreements.
 
Responsible sub-committee: Education and Technical Support
 

Strategic Objective #5:
 
Work to Identify and subsequently Reduce Transmission Barriers. Promote Appropriate Upgrades to and Expansion of the Grid.
 
Action Plans:
  1. Ongoing, support efforts by BPA and other utilities to expand transmission facilities and/or access, especially to “unlock” high wind regime areas. Report on progress to the OWWG on a quarterly basis.

  2. Ongoing, collaborate with BPA and other utilities to make the contracting process for wind energy and its interconnection more transparent.

  3. By July 1, 2004, complete a preliminary investigation of the need for and financing of specific transmission grid upgrades or expansions necessary to make private wind farm development feasible in high wind regime areas.

  4. By July 1, 2004, develop web-based information on wind energy integration into the grid for interested parties and make it widespread available to stakeholders.
Responsible sub-committees: Transmission; Education and Technical Support 

Strategic Objective #6:
 
Assist in the development of one or more Locally Owned Small Wind Farms as Demonstration Projects.
 
Action Items:
  1. By March 1, 2004, make available a template for a Request for Proposal for a community-based small to medium sized wind energy projects.

  2. By March 1, 2004, make available the “how-to” and results of a feasibility study for such a community-based project.

  3. Within three months of the start of the operations of an actual community-based project, make the results available to interested local governments, private organizations and individuals throughout Oregon.

  4. Ongoing, assist groups of land owners with the development of locally owned wind farms and make the results available throughout Oregon.

  5. Ongoing, assist Oregon landowners with applications for federal grants available through USDA’s Farm Bill and others agencies.
 
Responsible sub-committee: Education and Technical Support

Strategic Objective #7:
 
Investigate the Desirability and Feasibility of a wind resource assessment program to collect publicly owned wind data using 50-meter high meteorological towers.
 
Action Plans:
  1. By March 1, 2004, work towards getting the recently removed long-term high towers re-installed and data collection resumed.

  2. By March 1, 2004, develop a plan for a countywide tall tower study.

  3. By March 1, 2004, investigate a tall tower study on state lands.

  4. By July 1, 2004, report back to the OWWG on the desirability and feasibility of a statewide project. If considered appropriate, include in the report a work plan and budget for the project.
 
Responsible sub-committee: Education and Technical Support

Strategic Objective #8:
 
Provide Technical Support to Stakeholders and Increase the General Public Awareness Regarding Oregon’s Wind Energy Resources and Their Applications.
 
Action Items:
  1. Ongoing, provide through regular OWWG meetings, a web site and other means, forums for exchanging information between OWWG members.

  2. By March 1, 2004, establish an agreement with Wind Powering America on the use of its mobile display on wind power at fairs and other events.

  3. By March 1, 2004, assist with the development of a handbook on “Steps to be taken for the development of a locally owned wind farm”.

  4. By March 1, 2004, issue a summary report on financing options for distributed wind power development.

  5. By July 1, 2004, develop and regularly up-date web based information for stakeholders (Oregon’s rural citizens, Cities, Counties, farmers, ranchers), addressing (among other topics):
    • An overview of wind power applications and benefits
    • Recommended resources, including a bibliography, links to other web sites, state and local contacts, etc.
    • Fact sheets on how to develop locally owned wind farms, , interconnection procedures, etc.
    • Fact sheets on the economic development aspects of wind farms.

  6. By July 1, 2004, identify specific state and local resources that assist in the dissemination of information on small to medium sized wind energy projects (less than 20 MW).

  7. By July 1, 2004, investigate the feasibility of creating a corps of resource persons throughout Oregon who would provide access to information and resources on wind energy development.

  8. By July 1, 2004, develop a program with funds for wind resource assessments and feasibility studies for locally owned or community-owned small to medium sized wind energy facilities.
 
Responsible sub-committee: Education and Technical Support

Footnotes
 
[1] Many of these issues cover both the small, net metered wind systems and the larger units. The division between “small” and “large” is arbitrary and not clear-cut. As an example, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC)’s Guide “Connecting to the Grid”, 4th Edition 2003, uses 2 MW as a logical limit for its “small” procedures. It notes: ”These procedures are intended to be used for interconnections to distribution systems (typically radial circuits at voltages less than 69kV). A 2 MW limitation was selected as both the practical limit for expedited interconnections (above 2MW is typically precluded from expedited treatment because the size of the DG unit is often greater than the 10% limit for circuit peak load) and units greater than 2 MW, should, in many cases, be analyzed for power flows onto the transmission system – an analysis not included in these procedures”)
 
[2] This issue is somewhat complicated in our state because an RPS was put on the back burner when SB1149 "the Public Purpose Charge" was negotiated between the various parties some time ago. A significant fraction of the PPC monies are being invested in renewables in our state. Nevertheless, the OWWG deems it useful at this time to at least investigate this issue.
 
[3] We use the somewhat arbitrary upper limit of 20 MW. This is identical to what FERC is using for its Rulemaking for “small generator interconnections”. The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC)’s Guide “Connecting to the Grid”, 4th Edition 2003, also uses 20 MW as a logical limit for its model agreement for interconnection and parallel operation of distributed generation.