Library from Washington
The head of a state council that reviews large energy-producing projects believes the accumulative impact, or effect, of multiple wind-power developments in a region, is becoming a more significant factor that will be examined as more projects go up statewide. Al Wright, managing director of the state's Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, said the accumulative factor is part of all environmental studies done on wind farm projects in the state.
The same storms also brought wind. Bonneville has added 5,000 megawatts of wind power in the last few years, and it is mostly concentrated in the Columbia River Gorge in what is known as the "wind ghetto." As a result, at any given moment, almost all of the wind machines in Bonneville's territory are either running or not running. In June, they were running.
Many residents and people passing through are outraged and appalled at the ruination of their aesthetic view of the Stuart Mountain range. The 410-foot towers are visible from all over the valley ...They are not yet operational, but already people are complaining about the muddy drinking water from wells from the blasting, the increased rattlesnake activity and the influx of mice and rats.
The Columbia River Gorge is one of the few remaining places in the nation where some of the Lewis and Clark landscape remains today as it existed more than two centuries ago. Every year a little bit of that beauty is sliced off to allow man-made blights. This means we must witness the slow extinction of the grandeur of the Gorge.
If nothing else was clear following the close of Union County's Antelope Ridge Wind Farm advisory vote hearing Wednesday, this was: people who love windmills generally don't want the vote, and those not so fond of them, do.
The proceeds from the authority sale will be used to prepay for power from the Windy Point/Windy Flats Project, a 114- turbine wind-energy farm in Washington state. The Pasadena-based authority is purchasing the electricity on behalf of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the city of Glendale.
"All the clause says is that the developer is to ‘give highest priority to increase the distance.' So long as the developer says ‘well, we tried, but this is the best we can do' there is no way to move forward on an enforcement action because the developer has satisfied all that the clause requires. Simply speaking, the clause the governor added sounds good, but means virtually nothing."
More time is now needed to refine engineering and construction plans for the project that's spread on 5,200 acres of private land and property leased from the state Department of Natural Resources, according to David Steeb, Desert Claim's project director. All construction and operation plans must be approved by the state.
In his request letters, Whitten said Partch and O'Neill flagrantly violate the Open Public Meetings Act and violated their oath of office. Whitten's primary concern was commissioners' disregard for the low-frequency noise pollution created by wind turbines, he said. Tracy outlined Whitten's complaints for review by Asotin County Superior Court Judge William Acey at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 2 in Whitman County Superior Court.
The utility paid regional buyers $7,000 to take 1,300 megawatts of its surplus power in June, according to Gregg Carrington, managing director of energy resources. But other sellers paid the PUD about $20,000 to take their own surplus power, he said, for a net monthly gain of $13,000.
A recent study in Klickitat County, Washington indicates 6,500 birds and 3,000 bats are killed annually in the two states-though the number of deaths in the two states may be much higher. ...an untold number of birds are devoured by vultures or coyotes before they're included in the count.
Engineers say that if the power grid becomes more reliant on renewable energy, a lot of new transmission lines will have to be built at some point or there will be unhappy consequences. Mostly this problem has been predicted rather than experienced. But the future may have arrived last month.
OLYMPIA - A dispute between Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark and State Attorney General Rob McKenna is scheduled to go before the Washington State Supreme Court on Thursday.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hosted two Radar Ridge Wind Project "scoping" meetings last week in Lacey and Naselle, reviewing both the promise and objections to the alternative energy development.
A small Del Mar company said Wednesday that it has landed a bigger stimulus check from the federal government than expected for developing a big wind farm in Washington state. Cannon Power Group said it is getting $200 million in stimulus funds for its latest work on a 500 megawatt farm on ridgelines along the Columbia River.
Too much rainwater flowing through the Columbia River system is forcing dam power turbines to operate overtime. ...to reduce the dissolved gas levels to protect fish, Bonneville Power Administration increased generation of hydroelectric power so water goes through the turbines and not over the dams. ...BPA also alerted the region's wind farms to its inability to absorb excess power.
Too much rain means too much water over the dams' spillways, and the resulting turbulence leads to excess dissolved oxygen in the water. That's harmful to fish, so the big dam operators in the region -- the Corps and Bureau of Reclamation -- divert as much water as possible into reservoirs or through the dams turbines to generate electricity. ...Complicating the picture is the region's growing fleet of wind turbines, which have been cranking out extra megawatts as the same storm cells dumping rain into the rivers have whipped wind speeds higher.
A recent study in Klickitat County, Washington shows that active wind farms in Washington and Oregon kill more than 6,500 birds and 3,000 bats annually. Biologist Orah Zamora works for West, Inc., an ecological field study company, monitors the Windy Flats project, one of the largest wind farms in the United States. Zamora looks for dead birds and bats that have been severed by the spinning blades.
The surveys, which are financed by the wind industry, indicate that wind power is a relatively minor hazard to birds. But some scientists say it is still too soon to discount the risks posed by the rush to develop Northwest wind power. They are particularly concerned with the plight of hawks, eagles and other raptors, which are large, long-lived birds at the top of the food chain.
Longtime real estate broker Mary Morgan is concerned about the future, too. She's worried the county's ordinance could allow huge wind towers to dot locations around the valley and destroy its scenic, rural character for years to come for residents, those thinking of moving here and tourists.