Articles from Washington

Mid-Columbia group forms to fight higher electric bills from unneeded power

A new campaign to change the state Energy Independence Act was launched Thursday in the Mid-Columbia to prevent rising electricity rates to pay for unneeded renewable energy. Mid-Columbia state legislators, chambers of commerce, ports, business organizations, cities and public utility districts are backing the effort to prevent or delay increased electricity rates.
28 Sep 2012

Gorge group sues Skamania on zoning issues

Portland-based Friends of the Columbia Gorge is charging the county with "failing to protect its critical areas and resource lands in violation of state law." The land, while unzoned, had been protected until Skamania lifted a development and forest work moratorium on Aug. 21.
21 Sep 2012

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

BPA orders NW wind farms to curtail production

The agency, which manages much of the power grid in the Northwest, confirmed it issued the orders during the early morning hours of Sunday and Monday, when demand is low. The action rekindles a dispute from last year, when the agency curtailed wind turbines because the water from a large mountain snowpack.
30 Apr 2012

Whistling Ridge decision contested

In early March, Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire approved the proposed Whistling Ridge wind power project to be sited near White Salmon on land owned by SDS Lumber and Broughton Lumber, paving the way for 35 turbines standing more than 400 feet tall.
10 Apr 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

Columbia Gorge wind farm opponents may go to court

Jason Spadaro, president of SDS Lumber, said he appreciates the governor's approval, but that the reduced size of the project means it is not economically viable at this time. A smaller project will need higher power prices to be viable, he said, and the project will be on hold but not permanently shelved.
6 Mar 2012

Panel reaffirms support of wind farm near Gorge

The intense scrutiny and interest surrounding Whistling Ridge set a new bar for the EFSEC process, said council manager Al Wright. The application piled up many thousands of pages of record as well-represented players watched closely and weighed in every step of the way. It took longer than any other EFSEC process.
28 Dec 2011

For near neighbors, turbines a noisy prospect

When the developer that sold the Tudors their $500,000 home and acreage proposed an 80-turbine wind farm on nearby land, the couple were shocked. "We're devastated that our developer, after creating this pristine residential community, now aims to spoil our scenery with monstrous wind turbines," the Tudors wrote.
14 Dec 2011

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
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