Perennial Wind Chaser (Perennial) is a proposed fracked gas power plant located in Umatilla County near Hermiston, Oregon. The facility would include four turbines with a maximum capacity of 415 megawatts.
What is Perennial Wind Chaser?
Perennial Wind Chaser (Perennial) is a proposed fracked gas power plant located in Umatilla County near Hermiston, Oregon. The facility would include four turbines with a maximum capacity of 415 megawatts. The Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) approved the power plant in 2015 by issuing a so-called Site Certificate. However, Perennial has failed to secure a power purchaser. In turn, Perennial has not started construction.
Why is EFSC holding a public comment period about Perennial?
Perennial needs an extension from EFSC to prevent the site certificate from expiring. This process is called a Request for Amendment. EFSC’s public comment period ends on August 22, 2019. EFSC is also holding a public hearing on August 22 in Boardman, Oregon.
How does EFSC decide whether to approve a Request for Amendment?
Under Oregon law, EFSC must consider any changes in facts or law since Perennial obtained the Site Certificate in 2015. Studies released since 2015 demonstrate that the risks of fracked gas are vast—and far greater than previously understood.
Does the Oregon Supreme Court’s August 1, 2019, ruling impact Perennial’s application?
Yes. The Oregon Supreme Court held in favor of a coalition of nine conservation organizations, including Columbia Riverkeeper, invalidating rules adopted in 2017 by EFSC that had dramatically reduced transparency and discouraged public participation in permitting decisions for large power plants throughout Oregon. The legal victory is expected to terminate the previously issued permits for Perennial. But that doesn’t mean we can sit out the public comment period: Until EFSC officially withdraws the public notice for Perennial’s Request for Amendment, Riverkeeper and allies are encouraging the public to weigh in.