The Oregon Renewable Energy Siting Assessment will assess data and develop a mapping tool about renewable energy and transmission development in Oregon.
The ORESA project is funded through a $1.1 million U.S. Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment grant awarded to the Oregon Department of Energy, working with the Department of Land Conservation & Development and Oregon State University's Institute for Natural Resources.
The project will collect data and information through assessments and a mapping tool to build an understanding of the opportunities and constraints that come with renewable energy and transmission development in Oregon.
We'll post regular updates about the project on this website. You can also sign up for email updates.
Project Purpose and Need
Continued renewable energy development is anticipated in Oregon in the coming decades, particularly solar energy, wind energy, and associated transmission line development (see drivers for renewable energy development in ODOE's 2018 Biennial Energy Report).
Developing these energy resources involves balancing issues related to natural resources, land use, environmental impacts, noise concerns, and cultural and archeological artifacts (among others) through processes at all levels of government – federal, state, and local.
Renewable energy and transmission projects also have effects on military training areas in Oregon and adjoining states, and may have a potential future effect on necessary military uses to prepare for future threats. Potential effects could include radar interference from wind facilities; low-level flight obstructions from tall structures such as wind turbines; electromagnetic interference from high-voltage transmission lines; and glint and glare from solar photovoltaic arrays near airfields. Meanwhile, there are parts of the state that have substantial renewable energy resources and facility potential. Local governments have benefitted from increased tax base and local economic growth through renewable energy project development.
This project will collect information about locations for current and future renewable energy and transmission development, and build an understanding of the opportunities and constraints that come with specific locations. The state can use this information to continue to support renewable energy growth and economic development.
Project Goals and Objectives
DOD-OEA's overarching goal is to support military compatibility through coordination with local, regional, and state agencies and raise awareness about the military through the ORESA project.
Key project goals are to create relevant educational tools for stakeholders, agencies, local governments, and policy makers about renewable energy development, military training and operational areas, economic/community benefits, land use considerations, natural, cultural, and environmental resources, and other regulatory requirements.
Key project objectives are baselining data, information, and perspectives to create a transparent, consistent collection of trusted, accurate information in Oregon, without recommendations or endorsements, and noting where information may be imprecise or uncertain.
Five Project Components
- Renewable Energy Market & Industry Assessment (Led by ODOE and supported by Consulting Firm – E3: Energy and Environmental Economics) – Collect data and model the future opportunity for development of renewable energy generation and transmission infrastructure in Oregon. Develop cost-optimized, renewable energy build-out scenarios for Oregon over the next 15 years. Build an understanding of the challenges and opportunities that exist in the renewable development community in Oregon and identify gaps that could be addressed for Oregon to meet its long-term energy goals.
- Military Needs & Interests Assessment (Co-led by ODOE and DLCD and supported by Consulting Firm – Epsilon System Services) – Collect data and information about current and future military assets, uses, needs, and case studies. Analyze data, protocols, and policies regarding military training and operating areas, including current and anticipated future uses. Note any constraints and opportunities between renewable energy development and military uses.
- Natural Resources, Environment, and Development: Opportunities & Constraints Assessment (Led by DLCD and supported by Consulting Firm – CBI: Conservation Biology Institute) – Collect data and information regarding the presence of natural, cultural, and environmental resources, as well as, jurisdictional protections, development constraints, and commercial interests. Collect data and information regarding community and economic opportunities with renewable energy development. Build an understanding of renewable energy opportunities and constraints, including regulatory structures and protections vested with Tribal governments and local, state, and federal agencies.
- Siting Procedures Review (co-led by ODOE and DLCD) – Review and analysis of siting regulations, permitting, and project review processes as they relate to notification, identification, and evaluation of potential impacts. Develop summary of siting regulations and process review with feedback from stakeholders. Identify best practices in tools and strategies for engagement and improved coordination.
- Mapping and Reporting Tool (led by INR) - Develop a mapping and reporting tool, housed on Oregon Explorer, with data and information about renewable energy; military training and operational areas; economic development opportunities; land use considerations; natural, cultural, and environmental resources; and other regulatory requirements. The tool should build a more comprehensive understanding of renewable energy and transmission development and support proactive coordination with stakeholders, agencies, local governments, and policymakers in the state. Development of the tool will involve stakeholders to help define use cases and reporting functionality.
- Oregon Renewable Energy Siting Assessment Report
- Oregon Renewable Energy Siting Mapping Tool and associated GIS data layers (hosted by INR)
Stakeholder Engagement Opportunities