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Oregon Start-Up Hopes to Build a Floating Wind Power Farm

written by: •edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 10/22/2009

Principle Power is looking to raise $20 million in funding to create a 150-megawatt offshore wind park on the Oregon coast.

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    Principal Power Thinks Power is Blowing in the Wind

    It isn’t just on the New Jersey shore where you’ll likely find a wind power farm to provide power to customers onshore. Across the nation in Oregon, renewable-project developer Principle Power is looking to raise $20 million in funding to create a 150-megawatt offshore wind park.

    The company is looking to build the offshore wind power plant off the Tillamook County coast in Oregon, and has already signed an agreement with the Tillamook Intergovernmental Development Agency. Principal Power will still need to through the process to secure permits, but will likely hold off until a buyer is found for the electricity produced from the offshore wind power farm. It is likely that a local utility would sign up to buy the resulting electricity produced.

    Cnet.com reports that the start-up firm, which has offices in Seattle and San Francisco, has already raised $2.3 million in convertible debt, where the lender takes stock in a company instead of repayment down the line, to pay for the project. The company was only founded in January of this year, and in June scored an exclusive license from Marine Innovation & Technology for WindFloat, a floating foundation to support offshore wind turbines. During Phase I of the project, a 5 Megawatt wind turbine will float in the ocean to prove the benefits and viability of the larger wind farm. Phase II is scheduled to begin in 2012 and hopefully provide customers in the Northwest United States.

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    Other Offshore Wind Parks in the Nation

    And even as the aforementioned New Jersey project looks to go forward, it is worth noting that no American company has ever managed to actually build an offshore wind park. And in addition to the projects in Oregon and New Jersey, Bluewater Wind has announced plans to build a 200 megawatt power wind farm off the Delaware coast. All these projects could end up sinking however, as local opposition remains an obstacle to get past. Cape Wind had been looking to put wind turbines off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. But that project ran into the same type of troubles that have hindered efforts for onshore wind farms.

    Those are that the wind turbines would be unsightly and spoil the views, and of course harm local wildlife, namely birds. As we previously reported, even green technology has its opponents who are concerned about the environment.