Hot on the heels of an announcement that a group of European countries are planning to build an offshore wind power supergrid, GE has announced that it is the lucky winner of a $1.4 billion contract to supply 338 turbines to what could be the world's largest wind farm. The farm, located in Shepherd's Flat, Oregon, will generate 2 billion kilowatt-hours of power each year, or enough for 235,000 average California homes.
While all the power from the farm will go to California—the power utility Southern California Edison, more specifically—the Shepherd's Flat project has the potential to provide a major boost to the Oregon economy. The wind farm, which requires building 85 miles of road and 90 miles of power lines, will recruit 400 workers for the two-year construction period and 35 workers during operation. All told, the farm is expected to inject $16 million in economic benefits to the state.
We'll hold off on getting too excited until the project is finished, however. As the T. Boone Pickens wind farm debacle proves, sometimes the best of intentions aren't enough to get a massive wind project off the ground.