Library from Washington

Is ‘accumulative effect' coming?

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.
25 Sep 2010

Breaking Out of the Wind Ghetto

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.
23 Sep 2010

Call for a wind farm moratorium to study impacts

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.
16 Sep 2010

Let’s not spoil Gorge’s gorgeous views

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.
8 Sep 2010

Remove from office those who have harmed the valley

"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."
15 Aug 2010

Whitman County recall process continues: Prosecutor outlines citizen's argument for commissioners' recall

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.
22 Jul 2010

Del Mar company gets $200 million for wind farm

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.
17 Jun 2010

Dams on Columbia working overtime

Too much rainwater flowing through the Columbia River system is forcing dam power turbines to operate overtime. 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.
12 Jun 2010

Swollen Columbia River churns so much electricity BPA is giving some away

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.
12 Jun 2010

Study: Wind Farms = Bird Killers

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.
7 Jun 2010

Scientists study wind-farm risks to birds

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.
7 Jun 2010

How will new wind rules affect Kittitas Valley?

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.
29 May 2010
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