Library filed under Energy Policy from Washington

‘No more wind.’ WA state utility questions efficacy of wind farms for power generation

But in a recently released report, “Wind Power and Clean Energy Policy Perspectives,” the utility’s commissioners say they “do not support further wind power development in the Northwest.” ...“While development of wind farms may be politically fashionable and appeal to many in the general public as a harmonization of nature with electricity production, the science and economics indicate powering modern civilization with intermittent generation resources like wind and solar power comes at a high financial and environmental cost.”
19 Sep 2020

Fire sparked by a wind turbine

The turbine that sparked the fire was part of the Juniper Canyon facility located in Klickitat County in Washington State. The project, which is owned and operated by Iberdrola Renewables (now Avangrid), was constructed in two phases during the period from 2010 to 2012. It consists of 128 turbines (63 in Phase 1; 65 in Phase 2) and has a total installed capacity of 251.2 MW.
22 Jul 2019

Wind energy of no use in the Pacific Northwest

Bpa-load-graph-jan2014_thumb Over the last several years the Pacific Northwest spent about $5 billion and impacted over 50,000 acres of pristine public land for the privilege of throwing away 9 billion kWhrs of carbon-free energy every year. Just so we can meet an arbitrary state mandate, claim we’re green, and make a few folks lots of money in tax credits, the cost of which gets passed onto the rate-payers and tax-payers.
18 Jan 2014

Rule forces us to ask how much the wind costs

The region now has a wind power capacity, on paper, of 4,500 megawatts. That is certainly a lot. The law requires large utilities to obtain 15 percent renewables by 2020. All this windy carbonless renewability raises some reasonable questions, such as: How much? Who pays? Is there a better way? Are we actually reducing our carbon footprint, or are we covering Eastern Washington with windmills and raising our electric rates for not much environmental gain? I would like to know.
26 Sep 2013

NW wind industry slows

You might have seen wind turbines springing up all over the Northwest in the past decade. This year, the region's wind industry has faced a different story. Not a single new wind farms is under construction in the Northwest.
26 May 2013

When renewable is not renewable

The governor is correct that reclassifying hydropower would wreck Initiative 937. That exposes the true purpose of the measure, to force a massive investment in the only form of renewable power even remotely practical - wind. That is accomplished by extracting the funds from the ratepayers of the Northwest, through utilities that today and in the future mostly need no additional power to meet their load.
9 Feb 2013

PUD says BPA plan helps wind energy producers at ratepayer expense

The policy essentially would curtail production - particularly wind generation - when there is too much power for BPA to handle, a situation that usually occurs in the spring. And it would also pay the wind energy producers for their lost revenue. PUD commissioners say that amounts to subsidizing an already subsidized industry by passing the costs on to BPA customers like the Grays Harbor district.
15 Jun 2012

Altering clean energy law highlights its many flaws

The initiative's goals may have been laudable -- encourage the construction of new renewable sources of energy, creating jobs and reducing our dependence on carbon-based fuels. But in practice, the measure is riddled with unintended consequences. The result is a legal mandate that forces utilities to act against the best interests of their customers and the environment.
21 Mar 2012

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

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

Too much of a good thing for the region's power grid

The driver isn't need. The Northwest has plenty of power and most of it is already bona fide renewable. Wind power is here because state mandates force utilities to buy power they don't need and the federal government subsidizes producers' bottom lines. False incentives that encourage wind producers to keep building will exacerbate the region's glut of power production.
5 Jun 2011
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