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  • Rick Bonetti

Renewable Energy in Oregon

Updated: Nov 26, 2022

Northern Oregon, east of Mt. Hood has recently gained some attention as a leader in renewable energy with Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facility - the first wind-solar-battery hybrid plant in the United States. Located in Lexington, Oregon this facility is owned by Portland General Electric and NextEra Energy.

The Bonneville Power Administration which constructs electric facilities necessary to transmit power, is also the federal marketing agent for power from all of the federally owned hydroelectric projects in the Pacific Northwest including the Bonneville Dam located on the Columbia River.

BPA now markets the electricity from thirty-one federal hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River and its tributaries, as well as from the Columbia Generating Station, a nuclear plant located on the Hanford Site in eastern Washington.

The map above shows the location of Oregon's electric power generation by type and major transmission lines in FEMA's Region X . It also shows a threat to the electric power grid from a future megathrust earthquake in the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) .

The FEMA report gives this dire warning:

"During the 2016 Cascadia Rising Exercise, which considered a catastrophic 9.0 earthquake and tsunami event that resulted in the destruction of the infrastructure of the Pacific Northwest coastline, the unprecedented challenges associated with the restoration of energy infrastructure were recognized. It is expected that a complete societal collapse could result from an extended mass power outage lasting longer than several weeks to months. Extensive mass care support and requests for life sustaining services can be expected to be overwhelmed in a catastrophic event."

According to OEM, the last major (8.0-9.0 magnitude) Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and tsunami occurred in 1700. "History has shown, and scientists confirm, this quake occurs, on average, once every 200 to 500 years." The Oregon Department of Energy has links to help you Get Ready. Also isit to learn more about emergency preparedness.

The Great Oregon ShakeOut will occur this year on 10/20/22 at 10:20 a.m. Your involvement inspires others to practice Drop, Cover, and Hold On or other protective actions and to become better prepared to survive and recover! Register here.

Download the FEMA Mobile App, which allows you to receive real-time weather alerts, send notifications to loved ones, locate emergency shelters in your area, and more.


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