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Energy in Oregon

Wind Power in Oregon

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Total MW Capacity in Oregon (2021): 4,203 MW
Facilities Operating in Oregon: 51
Total Generation (2020): 8,777,254 MWh
Total Consumption (2020): 3,774,916 MWh
Total Exports (2020​): 5,002,338 MWh​​

Resource Review

Wind energy is captured when blowing wind moves turbine blades around a rotor, which turns a shaft that spins a generator and transforms mechanical energy into ​​electricity. 
Offshore wind turbines use the same principle, but are sited off the coast where wind resources tend to be stronger and more constant.

Oregon's ​Wind Industry

Onshore wind is the second-largest zero carbon-emitting electricity resource in Oregon next to hydropower. Wind power makes up 11.6 percent of Oregon’s electricity generation and 4.69 percent of Oregon’s energy consumption. Oregon's wind capacity has grown substantially since construction of the state’s first wind facility in 2001. With 3,415 MW of wind generation, Oregon is ninth nationally in terms of overall wind capacity and third among the 14 U.S. states in the Western Electricity Coordinating Council. 

Most of Oregon’s wind generation capacity comes mainly from large-scale wind projects that supply power directly to the electric grid. As of October 1, 2020, there are 46 existing wind farms and four state jurisdictional facilities under construction in Oregon totaling an additional 894 MW, with an additional 550 MW of wind projects approved or in review.

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Some facil
ity owners are choosing to upgrade older wind projects with new, larger turbines and longer blades to increase generation output - a process known as repowering.

Learn more about energy in Oregon in our 2022 Biennial Energy Report.

Small-Scale Wind

The state also has smaller-scale wind projects, including several community-owned projects consisting of a few mid-sized or large turbines, and numerous installations of small turbines that generate power on-site for homes and businesses. The industry for small turbines is less developed than the large, utility-scale wind industry.

With the increase of the Oregon Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50 percent renewable energy by 2040, more wind projects will likely be built in the state by independent developers and utilities.

Wind Project Development

Developing a wind project is a complex process, particularly due to grid interconnection and transmission access issues. New utility-scale wind projects in Oregon will likely require significant transmission system investments. Small wind projects (<20 MW) have less impact on transmission, but require complex system studies that may result in the need for expensive upgrades to the local grid.

Visit our Energy Facility Siting pages to learn more about the utility-scale wind industry in Oregon. 
Renewable Energy Development Grants

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