A Portland electric drill is on track to hit a record as it adds more than 10,000 jobs and makes its first foray into the state’s electric power grid.
The Portland Bureau of Engineering said Wednesday the electric drill will begin operation in 2019 and bring 2,000 electric workers to Portland.
The project will generate electricity at a rate of about 9.8 megawatts and will use a battery system that will generate more than 5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, according to the bureau.
The bureau said the electric rig will also bring jobs to the region, with jobs at a facility for electricians and electricians’ union president, Steve Williams, saying that the work will create over 1,100 jobs.
Williams said he is hopeful the new jobs will help the city and its economy, but that the company’s plans are not without controversy.
He said it is not good for the city to have a drilling company that is being paid $2 million a year.
The rig will have to pay a portion of the $1 million it will cost to build the electric drilling rig, he said.
Williams is the first president of the Portland Electric Workers Union to sign a contract with the Portland company, and the union is not expected to support the work.
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales said in a statement Wednesday that the new construction is “a positive step forward for Portland.”
Hales said the new project will help Portland “achieve a goal of being the cleanest city in the United States,” adding that he looks forward to working with Portland on a new partnership.
The new project is part of a long-term plan to build electric power plants in Oregon, including one in Salem, Oregon, and another in the central city of Eugene.