Library from Washington

Governor weighs changes to Wash. clean-energy law

Some utilities have had to purchase additional renewable power that it didn't need in order meet the law's requirements, resulting in increased rates for customers. "Buying power takes strategic planning and we want to be strategic about how we spend our customers' money," said Miller. "Buying wind that we don't need to replace hydro we already have is not very strategic."
14 Dec 2011

Lawmakers, BPA grapple with energy oversupply; Legislative panel hears concerns about shutting off turbines

Oversupply of renewable energy is expected to continue affecting Clark County and Washington, with no clear solution on the horizon, according to Bonneville Power Administration officials. With wind energy farms expanding in the Columbia River Gorge, the federal power marketing agency has struggled with the issue of energy oversupply.
1 Dec 2011

Wind farm effort's end blamed on agency; Fish and Wildlife says investors didn't understand process

But an agency official says the five public utilities backing the proposed 82-megawatt Radar Ridge project failed to understand the environmental review process the service was required to follow in considering a project that could affect the threatened marbled murrelet, a rare seabird that nests in old-growth forests near the ocean.
18 Nov 2011

Clallam PUD sponsored wind farm project scrapped

Plans for the first major wind farm in Western Washington have been canceled because of federal restrictions to protect a threatened seabird, the marbled murrelet. ...Last week, Clallam PUD voted to get out of the deal. The PUD had spent four years and about 300-thousand dollars in developing the wind farm.
17 Nov 2011

The high cost of renewable power; PUDs on track to meet state energy targets, but at what cost?

Snohomish County PUD officials estimate that acquiring renewables ahead of need - just to comply with the law - could cost its ratepayers between $20 million to $30 million by 2020 if additional growth doesn't come to justify the investment. That traditional hydropower doesn't count toward the state targets remains a sore spot for many in hydropower-rich North Central Washington.
5 Nov 2011

Planning commission recommends denial of wind overlay expansion

"In a nutshell, I don't think we need this comprehensive plan change right now ... There are no new circumstances that warrant comprehensive plan change," said Planning Commissioner Kim Green. Green said she felt adding to the overlay zone would be "overkill," stating she thinks "the value of wind, as of today for the Kittitas Valley, has been overstated."
12 Oct 2011

Controversial Whistling Ridge wind farm near in Columbia River Gorge goes to Gregoire for approval

The 15 turbines that the council recommended removing included seven that would have loomed over the community of Underwood, Wash., and eight of the 29 turbines that would be visible to motorists entering Hood River on I-84 westbound. ... the turbines in question would be "impermissibly intrusive into the scenic vista," and that there was no way to mitigate against those impacts.
8 Oct 2011

Spotted owl advocates pipe up over Whistling Ridge wind farm proposal

Wednesday's letter was signed by Seattle Audubon, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, Conservation Northwest, the American Bird Conservancy and the Gifford Pinchot Task Force. It said the Fish and Wildlife Service made "multiple factual errors" in its earlier finding. Among them: The agency implied that the owl documented in 2010 in the vicinity of the project was detected only three times.
6 Oct 2011

Whistling Ridge Final Adjudicative Order

Wr_adj_order_868_10-7-2011_thumb The Washington State Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (WA EFSEC) recently recommended approval, with conditions, of 35 turbines as part of the Whistling Ridge wind energy project. Fifty turbines were defined in the original plan submitted to the State. The final adjudicative order can be downloaded through the links at the bottom of the page. Of particular interest, readers are encouraged to reference the concurring opinion filed by the Council's chairman, James Luce, and included in the order. An excerpt of his letter is provided below.
1 Oct 2011

Wind power fans should admit green's not their color

Wind energy promoters and enablers are finally waking up to the possibility that the public knows there may be adverse effects from wind power. That puts them about 25 years behind the rest of the country, at least that part of the country that does not fall to its knees when the word "green" is attached to a concept, no matter how inaccurately.
31 Aug 2011

Fighting Wind, Still

Whitten says he doesn't care that Palouse Wind can now argue against his case in court or that his appeals have been combined. His challenge is the same. "I have a beef with the county," he says. But Whitman County planner Alan Thomson says the addition of Palouse Wind could be detrimental to Whitten's case.
17 Aug 2011

Seattle's 'green jobs' program a bust

But more than a year later, Seattle's numbers are lackluster. As of last week, only three homes had been retrofitted and just 14 new jobs have emerged from the program. Many of the jobs are administrative ..."The jobs haven't surfaced yet. It's been a very slow and tedious process. It's almost painful, the number of meetings people have gone to. Those are the people who got jobs. There's been no real investment for the broader public."
16 Aug 2011
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