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Wheatridge project in Eastern Oregon will be nation's largest to combine two forms of renewable energy with energy storage capability.

COURTESY OF PGE - Diagram shows how the Wheatridge project will combine wind, solar and energy storage on one site.  Portland General Electric is teaming with NextEra Energy Inc. to build a major wind and solar energy project in Eastern Oregon that includes battery storage of electricity.

The project, called Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facility, will be the first of this scale in North America to co-locate wind and solar with battery storage.

"Wheatridge will be a model for integrating renewable generation and storage to cost-effectively reduce emissions while maintaining a reliable grid," stated Maria Pope, PGE president and CEO, in a news release about the project.

The project will include 120 wind turbines, located just north of Lexington, in Morrow County. The wind energy is expected to be available by the end of next year.

The solar and battery components of the project are planned for 2021. The 50-megawatt solar array is expected to be one of the largest in Oregon. Having battery storage provides more flexibility for the grid operator, as wind and solar energy tend to surge during different times, seasons and conditions.

PGE expects to invest about $160 million in the part of the project it owns, which will entitle it to 100 megawatts of wind power. PGE also is contracting with its partner, Florida-based NextEra, to buy the remaining share of power from the project.

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