Heppner gazette-times. (Heppner, Or.) 1925-current, January 01, 2020, Image 1

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VOL. 139
NO. 1 6 Pages
Wednesday, January 1, 2020
Large crowd turns out for
alumni games
Front row (L-R): Ryan Cecil (2016), CJ Kindle (2016), Logan Grieb (2017), Jake Lindsay (2017),
Jeremy Rosenbalm (2004), Lane Bailey (2008), Brian Rill (2016) and Jared Huddleston (2010).
Back row (L-R): Logan Burright (2019), Beau Wolters (2018), Kevin Murray (2017), Wyatt
Steagall (2018), Kevin Smith (2018), Cason Mitchell (2019), Patrick Collins (2016), Nacho
Elguezabal (2008) and Bailey Haguewood (2014). -Contributed photo.
Morrow County, Heppner, Oregon
Morrow County’s newest wind
farm boosts Portland’s green
power to 50 percent
PGE, a partner in new wind, solar and
battery facility
Front row (L-R): Kelsey Greenup Fennern (2002), Alexis Doutre (2009), Madison Bailey Rosen-
balm (2005), Paige Grieb (2015), Kayla Kindle (2014), Stefanie Hanson Sweeney (2004), Jodi
Johnston Hand (1994), Annie Hisler Weygandt (1998) and Kelly Wilson (2015).
Back row (L-R): Emma Osmin (2013), Shelley Rietmann McCabe (2002), Janelle Healy Ellis
(1999), Holly Eckman Schuening (1994), Amy Greenup Kollman (1991), Mindy Binschus Wilson
(1998), Jenni Krein Offel (1995), Sarah Greenup Campbell (1994), Charlie Campbell (still in
school, but playing for the team) and Rylee Kollman (2016). -Contributed photo.
The ninth annual Hep-
pner Mustang Alumni bas-
ketball games were held in
front of a large crowd of
over 100 basketball fans,
family and friends Decem-
ber 22. This annual event, a
fundraiser for the Heppner
boys’ basketball program,
saw a record turnout of
players this year. According
to a source, both the men’s
and women’s games were
extremely entertaining to
In the women’s game,
the “young guns”, a team
made up of players from the
classes of 2002-2016 won
the game by the score of 42-
25. It was a fast paced and
sometimes very physical
game that was closer than
the final score indicates. It
was reported that everyone
enjoyed seeing so many for-
mer Fillies and Mustangs
play their hardest and have
lots of fun doing it.
High scorers for the
winning team were Alexis
Doutre, Shelley Rietmann
McCabe and Rylee Koll-
man. Leading the way for
the “more experienced”
team was Annie Hisler
Weygandt and Sara Gree-
nup Campbell.
The men’s game was a
three-point shooting contest
that saw the team of players
from 2004-2016 defeat the
team from 2017-2019 by
the score of 86-77. The
winning team was led in
scoring by Brian Rill, Jere-
my Rosenbalm and Patrick
Collins. The “young guns”
were led in scoring by Jake
Lindsay and Logan Grieb.
It was reported that a
fun time was had by all and
everyone is looking for-
ward to next year’s game.
The project also includes something new for renewable energy projects: batteries. The
battery storage will allow energy to be generated when the wind is blowing and then
stored for periods when it isn’t. The batteries will add consistency or “load balancing”
to green energy production. The battery component of the Wheatridge wind project is
reportedly one of the largest in the world.
The Wheatridge wind project will stretch from just north of Lexington to the edge of
the Bombing Range in Morrow County.
By David Sykes
The newest wind ener-
gy project coming to Mor-
row County will be under
construction soon. When
completed, the electricity
will be sold to Portland
General Electric (PGE),
helping that company meet
its aggressive renewable
energy agenda and boosting
its green energy production
to 50 percent of its total.
Located north of Lex-
ington, the Wheatridge
wind farm is expected to
begin building soon and
could bring up to 300 tem-
porary construction work-
ers into the area. The proj-
ect is being constructed by
Florida company NextEra,
in partnership with PGE,
and is permitted for up to
292 wind turbines with an
additional 350 aces used for
solar panels. The project
includes wind, solar and
batteries and will cover
14,624 acres in Morrow and
Umatilla counties.
What is unique about
the project is unlike other
wind projects in the county,
this one combines wind and
solar electrical production
as well as battery stor-
age. PGE says Wheatridge
will be the largest in North
America integrating those
three technologies and the
largest battery facility in
Oregon. With the addition
of battery storage, one dis-
advantage to green power
will be removed. Wind and
solar only produce electric-
ity intermittently.
PGE is investing in the
new generation facility to
offset the pending closure
of its coal power plant in
Boardman. PGE recently
finished construction on a
natural gas-fired generating
plant near Boardman and
had planned to build more
for its future power needs.
However, the company sus-
pended construction of gas
generation and now opted
to go forward completely
with emission free elec-
tric production. PGE said
it expects to spend $160
million on its portion of
the Wheatridge project and
own 100 megawatts of the
total wind power generated
by Wheatridge, committing
to buy the remaining output
from NextEra in a 30-year
PGE serves approxi-
mately 885,000 customers
in 51 cities and says it will
own 120 of the Wheatridge
292 permitted wind towers,
which it says, along with
its other renewable proj-
ects, will provide electricity
for approximately 340,000
homes. NextEra Energy
Resources will own the
balance of the project and
sell that output to PGE un-
der 30-year power purchase
The wind component of
the facility is expected to be
operational by December
2020 which means it will
qualify for the federal pro-
duction tax credit at the 100
percent level. Construction
of the solar and battery
components is planned for
2021 and will qualify for
the federal investment tax
credit. The tax credits are
very important for renew-
able energy projects as they
help bring down the cost of
Under its permit with
the state of Oregon, NextEra
must complete construction
on the wind towers by May
24, 2023. Construction of
solar facility components
must begin by November
22, 2022 and must be com-
pleted by November 22,
The project has two
components, east and west.
The Wheatridge West tur-
bine group would be locat-
ed entirely within Morrow
County, approximately
seven miles northwest of
Heppner. The Wheatridge
East turbine group would
be located approximately