Library filed under Energy Policy from Oregon

PUDs: Too much, too fast

Twenty-five percent renewable power by 2025? Northern Wasco County PUD and some other utilities are saying "not so fast." Gov. Ted Kulongoski's plan to push Oregon to get 25 percent of its power from renewable energy by 2025 could face a vote in the Oregon Senate as early as the end of this week. But members of Northern Wasco County PUD's leadership team say the bill is poorly designed and doesn't consider what it will cost customers, or the bill's impact on economic development. Generally speaking, the new bill would require larger electrical utilities to get 25 percent of their power from renewable energy - wind, wave, biomass, geothermal, etc. - by the year 2025, with intermediate goals set every five years starting in 2010. .............Higher costs can be disastrous for economic stability, Langer said. "Not one business looking at coming here has asked us how green our power is," Langer said. "They want to know about price." Immediate efforts to meet renewable power standards could have a damaging effect on efforts to recruit new business to the community and maintain economic stability, he said. "Baseload resources will best serve our needs now," Langer said. "They will actually save money for our customers later on. Those decisions need to be left with the electrical utilities."
1 Apr 2007

The green machine; Industrial customers say proposed new renewable energy requirements are a rip-off for all of us

The goal of making Oregon's utilities more environmentally friendly has got the state's largest electricity buyers saying Gov. Ted Kulongoski, legislators and enviros are selling out all ratepayers in an ill-conceived green-wash. At issue is SB 838, which would require utilities to derive 25 percent of sales from renewable sources by 2025. The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Brad Avakian (D-Beaverton), fulfills a campaign promise Kulongoski made while struggling to regain support of his disaffected base in last year's re-election campaign. The measure now also has become one of the issues the governor hopes to build into his legacy. In addition to traditional enviros, consumer groups such as OSPIRG, the Citizens' Utility Board and even the watchdog Utility Reform Project which usually look askance at anything that might raise rates, are on board with the legislation. Also supporting the measure, still in the Senate Environmental and Natural Resources Committee, are Oregon's largest utilities-Portland General Electric and PacifiCorp. But the Industrial Customers of Northwest Utilities says the bill, while well-intentioned, amounts to a wholesale transfer of wealth from ratepayers to the developers of renewable energy and the utilities.
28 Mar 2007

Panel: Wind power no cure-all

Wind energy will play a growing role in meeting the rising power needs of the Northwest, but it isn't controllable and it needs total backup by traditional sources such as hydroelectric dams, according to a report released Wednesday by energy specialists. The six-month study looked at how to integrate wind power into the region's existing power system. While wind energy sounds attractive, it can be fickle, the specialists said. Sometimes it blows, sometimes it doesn't. And while wind is free, they said getting its energy from a rural windfarm to an urban wall socket isn't. The report said the existing grid can probably handle the predicted output of 6,000 mostly new megawatts of electricity from wind that are anticipated to be produced by 2024 or earlier. That's roughly the production of two nuclear plants. "It could be more than that. That's all that we studied," said Steve Wright, administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration.
26 Mar 2007

Power officials debate wind use

Wind energy will play a growing role in meeting the rising power needs of the Northwest, but it isn't controllable and it needs total backup by traditional sources such as hydroelectric dams, according to a report released Wednesday by energy specialists. The six-month study looked at how to integrate wind power into the region's power system. While wind energy sounds attractive, it can be fickle, the specialists said. Sometimes it blows, sometimes it doesn't. And while wind is free, they said getting its energy from a rural wind farm to an urban wall socket isn't.
22 Mar 2007

Legislature to consider energy bill

SALEM - State lawmakers today will take up a proposal to require that a quarter of Oregon's electricity comes from wind turbines, solar panels and other renewable energy technologies. The proposal for 25 percent of the state's electricity to come from renewable sources by 2025 is one of Gov. Ted Kulongoski's top priorities for the session. The Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee has scheduled the first hearing today on his plan, Senate Bill 373. In a briefing with reporters, Kulongoski said he felt upbeat about the bill's chances. About two dozen states already have renewable energy standards, including California and Washington. But Kulongoski said Oregon's would be the second-most ambitious in the country. The bill calls for intermediate standards to be met along the way to the "25 by '25" target. By 2010, each utility must meet a 5 percent threshold. That would rise to 15 percent by 2015 and to 20 percent by 2020.
7 Mar 2007

Northwest Wind Integration Action Plan

Northwest_wind_integration_action_plan_thumb The Role of Wind Energy in a Power Supply Portfolio ....Wind is primarily an energy resource that makes relatively little contribution to meeting system peak loads. Even with large amounts of wind, the Northwest will still need to build other generating resources to meet growing peak load requirements.......But wind energy cannot provide reliable electric service on its own. When wind energy is added to a utility system, its natural variability and uncertainty is combined with the natural variability and uncertainty of loads. This increases the need for flexible resources such as hydro, gas-fired power plants, or dispatchable loads to maintain utility system balance and reliability across several different timescales. The demand for this flexibility increases with the amount of wind in the system.
1 Mar 2007

Governor paints energy budget green

Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s eyes light up when he starts talking about the benefits that windmills, solar panels and biofuels could bring his state. Though the $30 million that Kulongoski allotted in his two-year budget proposal for green energy is dwarfed by the billions he wants to spend on education and health care, the governor thinks it’s the first step in freeing the country from its dependence on fossil fuels. “I think Oregon can be … this national crucible for the development of this industry,'’ the governor said this week in an interview. “The state government can be a model for the private sector.
5 Jan 2007

Windfall from wind farms drops

Rural Columbia River Gorge counties saw plenty of dollar signs when wind farm developers began erecting turbines in their breezy, rural backyards. The investments slapped tens of millions of dollars onto sagging tax rolls and promised to revive budgets for services such as schools, health care and economic development. But the anticipated windfall has suddenly lost some of its heft. A state-level change in the way the projects are valued has worked to pull down assessments, and, in turn, has wiped out hundreds of thousands of property tax dollars that county officials had hoped to pencil into future budgets. “This is very serious for our counties and our taxing districts,” Judge Laura Pryor of Gilliam County wrote in an e-mail newsletter to rural colleagues. “What we have all thought of as an industry of benefit, may not be of much benefit. They don’t provide any jobs and now they may not provide much revenue either!”
17 Nov 2006

Combat global warming by developing nuclear power

Just about everyone in the Northwest should be concerned about the potentially devastating effects of climate change. And just about everyone should realize that there is only one way to head off the environmental disaster looming ahead -- an aggressive combination of improvements in energy efficiency and a major increase in the use of energy sources that do not release global-warming gases. With no possibility of increases in our large-scale hydropower projects and now talk of removing some existing dams, that means an increasing use of the only other large-scale, emissions-free source: Nuclear power.
15 Nov 2006

Vote buoys green energy plan

When a grinning Gov. Ted Kulongoski delivered his victory speech on election night, he stood before a banner that read “Energy Independence.” Although education, jobs and health care had dominated his campaign, he had insisted on preserving a spot for his energy agenda, which promoted home-turf renewables such as wind, solar and biofuel. Some considered his green intentions a bit ephemeral. But, with this week’s election, the climate changed. Not only did Kulongoski win a second term, but he also gained a Legislature dominated by fellow Democrats.
11 Nov 2006

Energy tops environmentalists' agenda- Renewable sources are legislative focus for state coalition

Environmentalists statewide released their agenda for the 2007 legislative session Wednesday, saying they want to expand renewable-energy sources and electronic-recycling programs, promote biodiesel and other local fuels and create stricter standards for industrial water pollution. "We are working with both sides of the aisle to make sure these priorities are high on the list," said Sybil Ackerman, the legislative-affairs director for the Oregon League of Conservation Voters. The Oregon Conservation Network, a coalition of more than 40 environmental groups, unveiled its legislative goals at a Capitol news conference.
22 Sep 2006

Oregon governor pushes for renewable energy

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Gov. Ted Kulongoski is pushing hard to increase renewable energy development in Oregon with a variety of sources ranging from wind to biomass to harnessing the motion of coastal waves. Kulongoski wants 25 percent of Oregon's power to comes from pollution-free, environmentally friendly and renewable sources by 2025.
29 Aug 2006

The Alternatives

Pressure is building for Oregon to require electric utilities to use substantially more renewable energy, such as wind and solar, to power homes and businesses. But a debate looms over whether such a mandate is needed -- or whether it might drive up monthly utility bills.
13 Aug 2006

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=Oregon&p=9&topic=Energy+Policy
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