When a proposed energy project is under review by Oregon’s Energy Facility Siting Council and ODOE staff, Oregonians usually have plenty of questions.
- How big is the project?
- Where is the project?
- How close is it to my house?
- Will there be conflicts with other uses of the land?
ODOE welcomes these sorts of questions, and we try to make facility information available quickly and in multiple formats. But we also wanted to see if different technological tools might better address these concerns and more.
Last month, we launched such an interactive web-based map that depicts existing and proposed energy facilities and allows users to view information in multiple ways. To get there, last summer, we hired an intern for the project, and she started by putting together “shapefiles” for each facility’s often complex site boundary. The work was challenging, but it was a welcome test for Yuan Gao.
“I’m really passionate about mapping,” said Gao, who went to college at Shandong University and graduate school at Oregon State University. She now works at the Oregon Department of Energy full time.
The new Oregon Energy Facilities map shows a wide range of facilities under Energy Facility Siting Council jurisdiction. Users can sort by generating type, facility capacity, and status, with details that previously were only available in large PDF versions of each facility’s lengthy application.
The online map has a handy search function, which gives users many ways to zoom in to map features, including most street addresses. You can easily type in your address and search for the energy facilities close to you. You can also search by the facility’s name.
“I thought, if we can search for the facility by name that would be super helpful. It took me a while to figure that out, but I finally conquered it,” Gao said, smiling.
The GIS map currently includes only facilities under EFSC jurisdiction. However, we look forward to building in more features down the line. Do you have ideas for how we can better present information online? We’d love your feedback.