Thursday, February 28, 2013

Judge Rules Eyman Washington State Two-Thirds Tax Initiative Unconstitutional (Associated Press)

Grant PUD Celebrates 75th Year with Renewed Community Focus (Wenatchee World, WA)

U-S House Unanimous on McMorris Rodgers Hydropower Bill (Wenatchee World, WA)

Let’s Hear it for NoaNet - Rural Broadband Project Aims to Bridge ‘Digital Divide’: Federal stimulus funds are helping Columbia & Garfield counties modernize communication systems (Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, WA)

SoloPower Confirms Layoffs as Company Restructures, Struggles Mount (Oregonian, Portland, OR)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for February 28, 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Climate Change May Dry Up Important U-S Reservoirs (The Energy Collective)

Benton PUD to Postpone April Rate Increase (Tri-City Herald, WA)

Mason County PUD 3 Releases Harstine Island Cable Video (Mason Web TV, Shelton, WA)

Klamath County Votes to Withdraw from Water Restoration Agreement (Associated Press)

Geothermal Energy Development Picking Up Steam (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Geothermal Energy Development Picking Up Steam (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for February 27, 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Seamless Transition Promised in Jefferson County PUD Electrical Service Takeover (Peninsula Daily News, Port Angeles, WA)

Storm Costs Approach $3 Million for Chelan PUD (Wenatchee World, WA)

Columbia Managers Dial Back Flows For Spawning Chum to Save Water for Upper Spring Chinook (The Dalles Chronicle, OR)

Is the U-S Losing the Broadband Race? As it Turns Out, We Look a Lot Like Danica Patrick (Forbes Magazine)

U-S Senate Schedules Confirmation Hearing on Sally Jewell’s Nomination as Interior Secretary (Associated Press)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for February 26, 2013

Monday, February 25, 2013

Drought Conditions Unlikely in Washington State This Year (KNDU-TV, Tri-Cities, WA)

Traditionally Green Strategists Now Pushing Pacific Northwest Coal Ports (Seattle Times, WA)

Snohomish PUD’s Studies Support Proposed Mini-Dam on Skykomish River (Everett Herald, WA)

If Forecasts Are Right, The Columbia Will be Great for Salmon Fishing (Seattle Times, WA)

Microsoft’s Azure Service Breaks Down After Company Lets Online Security Certificate Expire (Associated Press)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for February 25, 2013

Friday, February 22, 2013

B-C Hydro Vows to Continue to Fight U-S Ruling on Power Sales to California (Victoria Times Colonist, BC)

Pacific Gas & Electric Suffers Fourth-Quarter Loss - Weighed down by natural gas & environmental expenses (San Jose Mercury News, CA)

Poulsbo Envy? - Port Orchard Market could be Helped by Free Wi-Fi, Better Foot Ferry Service (Kitsap Sun, Bremerton, WA)

Washington State Legislator Pushes for Lower Taxes for REC Silicon (Columbia Basin Herald, Moses Lake, WA)

New Washington State Transportation Secretary Supports Gas Tax, Tolls (KING-TV, Seattle, WA)

Word Cloud for Energy News Digest - February 22, 2013

Thursday, February 21, 2013

New California Power Sales Ruling Could Cost BPA More than $60 Million (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Jay Inslee, Washington State Legislature Working to Keep the Evergreen State Ever Green (Seattle Times, WA)

Washington State Investment Board Admits Alternative Energy Not a Good Investment (Seattle Times)

Obama Settles on EPA, Energy Department Nominees: Source (Reuters)

Special Weather Statement for Western Washington (National Weather Service)

Word Cloud for Energy News Digest - February 21, 2013

Special Weather Statement for Western Washington (National Weather Service)

Special Weather Statement

Target Areas Include:
  • Hood Canal Area
  • Southwest Interior
  • Olympics

Other Areas Included in this Statement:
  • Admiralty Inlet Area
  • Central Coast
  • East Puget Sound Lowlands
  • Eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca
  • Everett and Vicinity
  • Lower Chehalis Valley Area
  • North Coast
  • San Juan County
  • Seattle, Bremerton Area
  • Tacoma Area
  • West Slopes Central Cascades and Passes
  • West Slopes Northern Cascades and Passes
  • Western Skagit County
  • Western Strait of Juan De Fuca
  • Western Whatcom County

A Strong Front Will Move Through The Area Friday

A strong frontal system will reach the area on Friday with heavy snow expected in the mountains. One to two feet of new snow is possible by Saturday morning. A winter storm watch is currently in effect for this.

Locally windy conditions are also possible over the lowlands as the front moves through. Most areas will become breezy Friday as the front moves ashore and some areas will become windy. Southerly winds of 20 to 35 mph with gusts to 40 to 50 mph are possible. The strongest winds will likely be near the coast and over the north interior. Winds will turn more westerly and gradually taper Friday night as the front moves inland.

The University of Washington weather model seems to show that most of the wind activity will occur from about 6 AM through Noon on Friday:

Lastly...large swells are expected to impact the coast late Friday night and Saturday. Waves are predicted to reach 22 or 23 feet on Saturday before subsiding. At minimum, dangerous surf conditions can be anticipated on Saturday. The tides will also need to be monitored for the possibility of minor coastal flooding, especially for those low-lying coastal communities that are typically impacted by large ocean swells. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Word Cloud for Energy News Digest - February 20, 2013

Telephone Scam Hits Franklin County PUD (Franklin County PUD)

(PASCO, WA) -- Franklin PUD is warning customers of a telephone scam targeting utility customers.  Franklin PUD customers have reported receiving collection calls from individuals claiming they work for Franklin PUD, the customer is past due on their electric bill, and the PUD has a truck standing by to shut off their power.  These calls are targeting Hispanic businesses. The PUD wants to remind customers about potential scams that may be committed over the phone.  These are not legitimate calls from Franklin PUD. 

Franklin PUD does make courtesy collection calls after customers have received a “Final Notice” bill insert on past due accounts.  We do not solicit customers by phone just for payment.  If customers do make a payment by phone, Franklin PUD gives them a confirmation code.

Any suspicious activity like this should be reported to Franklin PUD and your local police department.  And if customers are unsure if a call actually is from Franklin PUD, they should hang up and call Franklin PUD customer service at 509-547-5591.  We strive to make our customers aware of potential scams so they can protect themselves from becoming victims of identity theft and other fraudulent activities.  

Special Weather Statement for Mason County (National Weather Service)

Target Areas:       

  • Hood Canal Area
  • Olympics
  • Seattle, Bremerton Area
  • Southwest Interior

A Strong Front Will Move Through the Area Friday

A strong frontal system will reach the area on Friday with heavy snow likely over the mountains.

The heaviest accumulations are expected over the north cascades where one to two feet is possible by Saturday morning. The Olympics and central cascades could also get a foot or more by Saturday morning.

Breezy to windy conditions are also likely over the lowlands with as the front moves through.

South to southeast winds will increase Thursday night at the coast and over the north interior. Most areas will become breezy to windy Friday as the front moves onshore.

Southerly winds of 15 to 30 mph with gusts to 40 or 45 mph are possible.

The strongest winds will likely be near the coast and over the north interior. Winds will turn more westerly and gradually taper Friday night as the front moves inland.

In checking the University of Washington weather model, it looks like the system will roll over the region at about 3:00 AM through 11:00 AM Friday:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Judge Dismisses Humane Society Lawsuit That Opposed Killing Sea Lions at Bonneville Dam (Oregonian, Portland, OR)

Tribes, Cable Groups Protest Plan for Snohomish PUD’s Tidal-Power Project (Everett Herald, WA)

Oregon - State Approves $20 Million Tax Credit for SoloPower; Portland plant struggles to meet job, manufacturing benchmarks (Oregonian, Portland, OR)

Oregon - Rate Increase Sparks No Complaints, Emerald PUD Says: The power utility says cuts to staffing & other costs allowed it to hold the size of the increase to 3 percent (Eugene Register-Guard, OR)

Lawmakers to Propose Ten Cent per Gallon Gas Tax Hike for Washington State (KING-TV, Seattle, WA)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud - February 19, 2013

Bonneville Power Administration Launches Science Lab Videos For National Engineers Month (Bonneville Power Administration)

(PORTLAND, OR) -- The Bonneville Power Administration is launching two new education videos designed to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. The videos are part of BPA’s “Science Lab” series that features funny and energetic BPA engineers conducting simple experiments with things you find around the house.

The new episodes are “How to Build a Turbine,” which challenges kids to create their own energy-generating turbine device using paper cups, tape and a shop vacuum; and “The Great Marble Drop,” that tests young people’s ability to design an apparatus that will transport a marble and drop it on a target. 

There’s no “right” way to conduct these experiments. Rather, students are challenged to use scientific inquiry and engineering design to solve the problem. “We want kids to work together to devise solutions, test them and then try again,” explains co-host Mike Hulse, who guides viewers through the experiments with the help of fellow BPA electrical engineer Kellie Robinson. The ability to study a problem, develop a hypothesis and test and refine a solution is at the heart of many engineering and scientific careers.

BPA produces its Science Lab videos to connect students to science and engineering. Recent statistics show that science and engineering jobs are growing at twice the rate of non-technical careers, but that only 4 percent of high school freshmen are going on to graduate from college with those degrees.

“Math and science are important building blocks for young people interested in pursuing a career in the energy industry or other technical fields,” says BPA Administrator Bill Drummond.
The video series, which BPA launched with its “How to Build a Motor” video in 2010, illustrates electricity-related phenomenon such as electromagnetism, and kinetic and mechanical energy. They also provide a steady diet of the scientific and engineering method — try, test, fail and try again. The videos can be used by middle and high school teachers in class, or teachers can watch the videos and duplicate the simple, hands-on experiments in class. The series also targets kids and parents who are looking for experiments to do at a science fair or at home.

Simplicity and fun are hallmarks of the videos. The experiments call for basic supplies found around the house such as batteries, magnets, tape, wire and the occasional appliance like a shop vacuum set to blower mode. And viewers have responded to the enthusiasm and personality Kellie and Mike bring to performing the experiments. One YouTube viewer commented, “I’m going to be trying this with my kids as soon as I get home. To be honest, I’m a little jealous of your job!”
Robinson says the best part is attracting new talent to the field. “We love our jobs and we want kids to see that engineering and science-based careers can be lot of fun.”

As the biggest power marketer in the Northwest and operator of about 75 percent of the region’s high-voltage transmission system, BPA recognizes that our smart energy future rests on the shoulders of the next generation of engineers, designers and scientists. 

“We need the next generation to be equipped with the skills to design new applications and technologies essential to operating a smarter, more sophisticated electric power system,” adds Drummond.

The new videos were posted as part of a soft launch in August and have a few hundred views. The original Science Lab video, “How to Build a Motor,” has over 5,000 views. BPA expects to release a new Science Lab video later this year.

BPA funds activities and a variety of programs that support science, technology, engineering and math, often called STEM education. To learn more about the agency’s educational materials and programs, or to request an in-class presentation, visit BPA’s Community and Education Web page or contact education coordinator Christy Adams.

February is National Engineers Month, and BPA and other organization have teamed up with Business Education Compact to promote STEM education through classroom and hands-on experiences. to learn more.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Thurston County PUD Appoints New Commissioner to Board (Thurston County PUD, Olympia, WA)

(OLYMPIA) -- Last night (February 12, 2012) the Thurston Public Utility District Commissioners appointed Russell E. Olsen as the District 2 PUD Commissioner. Mr. Olsen will serve as the PUD Commissioner until the elections are certified in November 2014. Mr. Olsen is filling the PUD seat vacated by Alan M. Corwin at the end of December 2012.

As the District 2 Commissioner, Mr. Olsen will represent the area of the County that encompasses Lacey (borders are the same as County Commissioners), the Yelm area and the City of Rainer. 

Mr. Olsen is the Unit Supervisor of the Voluntary Clean-up Program where he supervises 13 professional staff members for the Northwest Regional Office of Toxics Clean-up Program of the Washington State Department of Ecology.  He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Martin’s University and a Masters of Public Administration degree from Seattle University. He also was a General Manager for the American Golf Corporation before his entry into public service. Mr. Olsen grew up in the Thompson Place neighborhood, outside of Lacey, attended Olympic View Elementary, graduated from North Thurston High School and has been married to Rebecca Olsen for 14 years. They have a seven year old son.

Mr. Olsen has extensive knowledge and experience in strategic planning, policy and budget development, implementation, and assessment. The PUD is confident that his excellent professional expertise and strong people skills will serve the citizens of Thurston County and the customers of the PUD well. Mr. Olsen may be contacted at

Washington State Governor's Energy Section of "Working Washington Agenda" (Washington State Governor)

Clean Energy, Climate Action and Plentiful Water

Energy is the lifeblood of Washington’s economy. Historically, affordable electricity has helped industries grow across our state. And today, clean, renewable energy is attracting new businesses and creating new jobs. Governor Inslee recognizes that to compete effectively with other states and countries, Washington must remain at the forefront of clean energy innovation and development.

Wyla Wood, Mason County PUD 3 Manager Announces Retirement (Mason County PUD 3, Shelton, WA)