Power companies have put time effort and money into harnessing the wind for power. But predicting when that wind will blow has always been a challenge.
A new device could make "going green" with wind power easier and cheaper by forecasting the wind.
The Bonneville Power Administration installed its new wind meter near the Troutdale Airport on Wednesday. It's the first of 13 that will go up into existing towers across the region.
The wind meters help solve a challenge power companies now face: because wind is so sporadic that they must have a reliable back up source of energy always on-line. In the Pacific Northwest, that source is hydro-power, a system now under stress.
The BPA says having a better gauge of when the wind will blow will allow the agency to better manage the hydro-system.
"You don't have to keep that water in reserve. It frees it up for other uses such as fish operations, making it into electricity and then selling that electricity which is how we keep rates low here in the Pacific Northwest," explained Katie Pruder a spokesperson with BPA.
PGE also announced it is adding 65 more wind turbines to its Bigalow Canyon Wind Farm nearly doubling its size. When completed the wind farm will produce enough energy to power about 125,000 homes.