Community-scale wind energy solutions in Oregon

By Stephanie Rico
July 11th, 2014
Jen Hibbard

Jen Hibbard

Environmental Forum readers – allow me to introduce Communications Consultant Jen Hibbard from Wells Fargo Community Lending & Investment, a group focused on supporting economic development, job creation, and affordable housing by investing debt and equity capital in areas of need nationwide. Today, Jen will share an example of what can be achieved when focused social, environmental and economic efforts come together to provide incredible results for the local community. Welcome, Jen. (SR)

Lime Wind is a locally distributed energy project that produces enough electricity from wind each year to power 800 households, ultimately providing a reliable source of “green” power at rates that are at or below those of traditional sources. It was developed by a small, family-owned operator in the very rural community of Lime in eastern Oregon.

In support of this project, Wells Fargo provided a $2.29 million New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) equity investment, utilizing $8.4 million in NMTC allocation provided by an affiliate of Albina Bank, a longtime Wells Fargo CDFI partner.

Lime Wind is located on land administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the remote and rural community of Lime, halfway between Baker City and Ontario, Oregon, adjacent to I-84.  The site which is now a source of clean energy was formerly the site of a cement plant.

The wind farm uses six rebuilt Nordtank 500/41 wind turbines to deliver electrical power to the grid. Rebuilt mid-size turbines were chosen for their proven technology, the ability to transport and erect them at the rugged site, and because they are a cost-effective solution for small projects.

The generated electrical power is transmitted to Idaho Power Company and sold under the guidelines of the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act for Oregon and as stated provides enough electricity to run 800 households.

Lime Wind, one of two locally owned wind projects in Oregon, is the first wind project in Baker County and the first wind project built on BLM administered lands in Oregon.

This financing project incorporated many complex financial structuring strategies and products, including the NMTC program, which is a powerful vehicle for Wells Fargo to help meet the needs of local communities.

We’re proud of this project and wanted to share the news with you. We’ve made a great video to show you how this great project came to life.

As always, we appreciate your feedback, so please tell us what you think.

Tags:   climate   energy   financing   grant   Lime Wind   wind   
Stephanie Rico

Stephanie Rico

Stephanie focuses on helping Wells Fargo achieve its goal of accelerating a transition to a “greener” economy via finance and support of our customers who are looking to take advantage of the benefits of renewable energy and clean technology. Stephanie has a BA in Social Science, Interdisciplinary Studies from San Francisco State University and an MBA from DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business.

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