Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Temperatures Plunge in Western Washington State (KIRO Broadcasting, Seattle, WA)

Vermont’s Sole Nuclear Power Plant Ends Operations - Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant ends operations after 42 years of producing electricity (Associated Press)

Up in Smoke: WA Pot Firms Say Their Profits Are Getting Burned Down by Tax Bills (Crosscut Seattle)

Alaska: Commercial Fishing Threatens Endangered Sea Lions, Groups Say (Courthouse News Service)

Is Microsoft About to Put Internet Explorer Out of Its Misery? (Puget Sound Business Journal, WA)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Mountain Snow Could Slow Christmas Eve Travel (KIRO Broadcasting, Seattle, WA)

Portland LED Specialist Lands another $1 Million in Investments (Portland Business Journal, OR)

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark Defends Peace River Dam as a 100-Year Plan (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

Peace River Dam Approval Leaves Two Northern British Columbia Wind Projects Up in the Air (Business Vancouver, BC)

Portland LED Specialist Lands another $1 Million in Investments (Portland Business Journal, OR)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Lawsuits Could ‘Destroy’ Recreational Cannabis in Washington State (Marijuana Business Daily)

Businesses: Carbon Tax Would Impact Citizens (KING-TV, Seattle, WA)

Chinook Salmon at Risk of Catastrophe Due to Climate Change, UBC Researcher Warns (The Province, Vancouver, BC)

Lawsuit against U-S Army Corps of Engineers Complicates Oregon Liquefied Natural Gas Plans in Warrenton (Oregonian, Portland)

Storms Bring Massive Amounts of Elwha River Sediment Downstream (Peninsula Daily News, Port Angeles, WA)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Governor Inslee’s Cap-And-Trade Plan for Carbon Emitters Could Hit 130 Enterprises (News Tribune, Tacoma, WA - Paywall Advisory)

Olympic Mountain Snowpack 23 Percent of Normal - Too Soon to Worry about 2015 Water Supply, Officials Say (Peninsula Daily News, Port Angeles, WA)

Draft Plan Unveiled for Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line (Boise Weekly, ID)

Wind Farm Operator PacifiCorp Energy Pleads Guilty in Bird Deaths at Wind Farms in Wyoming (U-S News & World Report)

Oregon, Washington Seek to Juice Electric Car Sales with More Incentives (Northwest Public Radio)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Simpson Selling Sawmills to Canadian Forest Products Company – “…does not include…sawmill in Shelton…the Shelton sawmill didn’t fit in Interfor’s strategic plan to increase its U-S production….” (News Tribune, Tacoma, WA - Paywall Advisory)

Two States Sue to Block Colorado Marijuana Markets (SCOTUS Blog)

Editorial: Nuclear Energy Deserves Debate (Vancouver Columbian, WA)

2015 Looks Grim for Wind Energy. How Will the Industry Adapt? (Utility Dive)

Court Fight Puts Idaho's School Broadband in Jeopardy (Idaho Statesman, Boise)

Lewis County PUD Approves Larger Budget for 2015 (KELA Radio, Centralia, WA)

(CHEHALIS, WA) -- The Lewis County PUD Commissioners approved a budget of $71.2 million for 2015.  That’s an increase of 7.1 percent over 2014.  PUD manager Bob Geddes says there are several factors affecting the increase including a raise in power and transmission costs from the Bonneville Power Administration. PUD receives a large portion of its electricity from BPA.  Geddes says they have also opted to add an additional tree trimming crew to supplement the existing one tree trimming crew in an effort to stay ahead of outages caused by storms like the ones recently experienced in Lewis County. 

Cantwell Picks National Labs Advisor as Energy & Natural Resources Staff Director (Politico)

(WASHINGTON, DC) -- Incoming Senate Energy and Natural Resources ranking member Maria Cantwell has picked Angela Becker-Dippmann, a former ENR and Cantwell aide, as Democratic staff director for the next Congress. Becker-Dippmann is currently a senior policy advisor at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Energy and Environment Directorate, where she has been since 2011. Becker-Dippmann was an executive vice president at McBee Strategic Consulting from 2008 until joining PNNL, and before that spent eight years in the Senate, including stints as a staffer under former ENR Chairman Jeff Bingaman and as policy director to Cantwell, where she worked on the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

British Columbia Expected to Make Peace River Dam Site Announcement Tuesday in Victoria (Vancouver Sun, BC)

Betting on the Need, Scientists Work on Lighter, Cleaner Nuclear Energy (NY Times)

Clallam Sheriff’s Office Looking for Suspect with Burns after Copper Theft – Caused Power Outage West of Port Angeles (Peninsula Daily News, Port Angeles, WA)

Portland General Electric’s Washington Wind Farm Brings Its Energy to Portland (Portland Business Journal, OR)

Study: Your All-Electric Car May Not Be So Green (Associated Press)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Powerful Wind Storm Knocks Out Power to Thousands in Puget Sound Region (KIRO Broadcasting, Seattle, WA)

Pacific Northwest’s Regional Hydropower Potential Is Lower than Federal Estimate (Northwest Power and Conservation Council)

Biologists Optimistic about Columbia River’s Spring Chinook Run (Vancouver Columbian, WA)



Crooked River: Central Oregon Water Dispute Settled in Bill That Wins Last-Minute Congressional Passage (Oregonian, Portland)

Many Tribes Not Eager to Grow & Sell Pot, Despite U-S Justice Department Saying They Can (Associated Press)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

High Winds Could Bring 70 Mph Gusts to Puget Sound Region (KIRO Broadcasting, Seattle, WA)

Wanapum Dam Stable after Reservoir Hits Elevation Target (Seattle Times, WA - Paywall Advisory)

Google Fiber Could Be Snared by Thorny Oregon Tax Law (Oregonian, Portland)

Nippon Mill’s $85 Million Cogeneration Plant in Port Angeles Is Operating - But Not Fully (Peninsula Daily News, Port Angeles, WA)

Legal Marijuana Sales in Spokane County Top $1 Million Last Month (Spokesman Review, Spokane, WA)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Three Storms, Three Threats: Flooding, Strong Winds, Landslides (KOMO-TV, Seattle, WA)

The Great Salmon Compromise - The Columbia Basin Fish Accords have funded $1 billion worth of habitat restoration projects, but can they replace free-flowing rivers? (High Country News)

Idaho Power Turns to Cloud Seeding to Boost Snowpack (Spokesman Review, Spokane, WA)

What’s Up with My Heat Pump? - Powerful Advice: Energy Insights from PUD 3 (Mason PUD 3, Shelton, WA)

The Cost of Carbon: Tax Would Be ‘A Small Drag’ on Oregon Economy (Portland Business Journal, OR)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Power Savings of Smart Meters Prove Slow to Materialize (NY Times)

Rate Hikes Loom for Northwest Utilities (Electric Co-op Today)

Pot Grows Prompt New Power Questions (Kitsap Sun, Bremerton, WA – Paywall Advisory)

Activists, Inslee Want Eight Times More Wind Power in Washington State by 2030 (KPLU Radio, Tacoma, WA)

Cap & Trade Could Be the Answer to State Budget Crises “…cutting emissions in one state will have no perceptible effect on…climate change. So, for policy options within your own state, it’s about the money…” (The Conversation)

Pot Grows Prompt New Power Questions (Kitsap Sun, Bremerton, WA)

The Kitsap Sun, Tad Sooter
December 6, 2014


SHELTON — Mason County is a good place to grow legal marijuana.

It’s a rural county with relatively quick access to highways and nearby cities. The scattered population makes it easier for growers to find locations outside the buffered areas established by the state around schools, libraries and other gathering places.

And, perhaps most important for a power-thirsty industry, electricity is cheap.

“That’s why we came to Mason County, the rate was so low,” said Craig Johnson, co-owner of Cascade Crops, who spends about $2,200 a month to run grow lights and other equipment in his Shelton marijuana production facility.

Those rates changed at the start of this month.

The Mason County Public Utility District 3 commission approved a new price schedule for its electricity customers in November that included a special classification for marijuana growers and processors. The rate falls between that of small businesses and large commercial users. It includes a demand charge that reflects the peak capacity needs of the facilities.

According to the district, the classification will protect marijuana businesses if federal regulations change, and ensure the companies’ power needs are met. But some growers, including Johnson, feel singled out.

“We took it as them pushing us against the wall as marijuana businesses,” Johnson said.

The uncertainty over federal policy regarding Washington’s fledgling marijuana industry was one driver behind the new rate classification. Recreational pot was legalized in the state under Initiative 502 but it remains federally illegal.

Utility districts across the state took notice last spring when the Bureau of Reclamation announced it didn’t want federally controlled irrigation water supplied to marijuana businesses. Like many districts, Mason County PUD 3 buys and distributes wholesale electricity from Bonneville Power Authority, a federal agency. To date, Bonneville hasn’t offered clear direction on whether districts should be reselling its wholesale electricity to marijuana companies.

PUD 3 Manager Annette Creekpaum said the district will supply Bonneville power to growers for now, but there is possibility that source could be eliminated in the future. By creating a special class for marijuana businesses, the district can shift them to other power sources if needed, without affecting other customers, she said.

Creekpaum said it seems unlikely Bonneville would prohibit the resale of electricity to pot growers, but “you just don’t know politically.”

There are other good reasons for giving marijuana growers there own customer class, according to district administrators. Isolating power loads from the growing facilities allows the district to study their energy use and ensure the infrastructure is in place to meet it. Indoor marijuana growing is a power-intensive operation, requiring large overhead lights, and powerful ventilation and filtration systems.

Power needs in Mason County could surge as growers come online. The Liquor Control Board has approved 10 producers there to date and another 40 are awaiting approval.

“Many aren’t big businesses yet but they have plans for being big,” Creekpaum said. “We’re planning for the future and preparing to meet that big power load.”

The rate for pot businesses also reflects a higher cost of electricity. The cheapest block of Bonneville power allocated to the district is being utilized by existing customers. Kitsap PUD (sic) is negotiating a new block to service marijuana businesses and other new customers, but it will be more expensive, Creekpaum said.

According to news reports, other Washington utility districts wrestled this year with how to accommodate marijuana businesses given the ambiguity from Bonneville.

The issue isn’t pressing in Kitsap County, where power is supplied by Puget Sound Energy. PSE draws electricity from a wide variety of sources, including its own plants. Spokesman Ray Lane said PSE is serving legal marijuana businesses and is confident it can accommodate their power needs.


“PSE has a duty and obligation to serve customers under Washington state law,” Lane said in a provided statement. “If there’s a legal business in our service territory that needs our services, we welcome them as a customer.”

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Proposed Bonneville Power Administration Rate Increase Will Maintain Value of Power & Transmission Systems (Bonneville Power Administration)

(PORTLAND, OR) -- To keep pace with needed investments in the Federal Columbia River Power System, which provides carbon-free hydropower at cost to Northwest public utilities, the Bonneville Power Administration today proposed a 6.7 percent average wholesale power rate increase for the fiscal year 2016-2017 rate period. BPA is also proposing a 5.6 percent increase in its transmission rates to sustain and expand the federal transmission system to meet regional needs, including renewable resource integration.

“During my time at BPA, I have become acutely aware of the economic impact our rates have on Northwest public utilities and the communities they serve,” said Elliot Mainzer, BPA administrator and chief executive officer. “However, these rate increases are necessary to sustain the tremendous value of the federal power and transmission system and to meet the electricity needs of the Northwest in a reliable and environmentally sustainable way.”

In January, BPA began a discussion with the region about its proposed program levels, future costs and potential rates for fiscal years 2016 and 2017. At the outset of those discussions, BPA forecast double-digit increases for both its power and transmission rates. Over the next nine months, BPA conducted extensive public review of its programs and budgets in a regional process called the Integrated Program Review.

The IPR process allows interested parties to see all relevant FCRPS spending level estimates in the same forum. The IPR occurs every two years, just before each rate case, providing participants with an opportunity to review and comment on BPA’s program level estimates before spending levels are set for inclusion in the rate case. Program levels for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 were included in the Final IPR Close-out Report released in October of this year.

“Working closely with our customers and other regional stakeholders over the past nine months, we managed to significantly cut the forecasted rate increases,” added Mainzer.

The rate proposals will be considered during a public rate-setting process beginning in early December and culminating in July 2015 decisions on final rates to take effect Oct. 1, 2015.

BPA is a nonprofit federal wholesale utility that receives no Congressional appropriations and must recover its costs through its rates. The new rates will affect local retail utilities differently depending on the amount of power and type of services they purchase from BPA. Local utilities ultimately determine the retail impact of BPA rates on individual businesses and residents.

Power rates
Even though power-related program level increases were kept below the rate of inflation, factors besides inflation make the wholesale power rate increase necessary. About 5 percentage points of the proposed 6.7 percent increase is due to costs associated with past capital spending – an increase of about $94 million a year.
Also contributing to the rate increase are increases in operating and maintenance costs for the federal hydroelectric program ($34 million), an automatic cost escalation under the long-term 2012 Residential Exchange Program settlement ($18 million per year), the need to acquire transmission service to meet obligations to deliver power to customers who are not directly connected to BPA’s transmission system ($12 million per year) and rising fish and wildlife costs.

To offset a portion of these increases, BPA has been able to take advantage of unique opportunities, including: the repeal of the spent-fuel disposal fee that the U.S. Department of Energy charged Energy Northwest’s Columbia Generating Station, saving an average of $7.4 million a year; a reduction in BPA’s forecast for the joint-funded Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance budget, saving about $2.5 million a year; refinancing of Energy Northwest regional cooperation debt for 2014-17, saving about $29 million a year; a decrease in operating costs at the Columbia Generating Station, saving approximately $26 million a year; and a $20 million undistributed reduction in the power revenue requirement.

Transmission rates
Additional reviews of transmission programs presented in the IPR confirmed that BPA has reduced programs levels as much as possible while still being certain it can meet the needs of the region. Factors contributing to the rate increase include the need to sustain and expand an aging Federal Columbia River Transmission System to maintain reliability and continue the integration of renewable resources, such as wind; increased mandatory compliance and additional cyber and physical security requirements and other operational and maintenance expenses; and the purchase of property insurance for BPA transmission facilities other than transmission lines and towers.

Earlier this fall, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved BPA’s Oversupply Management Protocol, a tool to manage the occasional seasonal oversupply of electricity generation, as well as an associated rate through fiscal year 2015. BPA is proposing to continue the oversupply rate for two more years using the same cost-allocation methodology and rate design.

Partial Ancillary and Control Area Services settlement
In September 2014, parties to the BP-16 rate case reached a settlement on the cost of generation inputs and transmission rates for ancillary and control area services, which include balancing for variable generators. The settlement agreement included in today’s Initial Proposal is posted on the BPA website. Most of the settled rates were kept at the same level as current rates, with a slight increase for Operating Reserves. The settlement will go through the rate case process. BPA staff will propose that the BPA administrator adopt the settlement in his record of decision in July 2015.

The settlement includes use of innovative tools BPA and its customers have created to integrate new resources into BPA’s system. The agreement is made possible due to advances in BPA’s ability to obtain third-party balancing resources. Given this progress  and work being done in market design, the settlement gives BPA time to allow these efforts to mature and become long-term, sustainable solutions for the integration of new resources into BPA’s transmission system. The settlement did not address two ancillary services, Scheduling System Control and Dispatch Service and Reactive Supply and Voltage Control from Generation Sources Services.

In October, BPA also began offering its transmission customers the opportunity to schedule energy in 15-minute increments. By offering 15-minute scheduling, BPA has removed barriers to integrating variable energy resources, as provided for in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Order 764. In the upcoming rate period, Variable Energy Resource Balancing Service customers (principally wind) can enjoy a saving of up to 50 percent from their current rate if they commit to schedule every 15 minutes. In addition, BPA believes that 15-minute scheduling could significantly reduce its balancing reserve capacity requirements.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Flood Watch for Mason County - More Rain Forecast for Thanksgiving in Washington State (KIRO Broadcasting, Seattle, WA)

Quincy Data Center Announces 4.5 Megawatts of New Capacity (Columbia Basin Bulletin, Moses Lake, WA)

Cowlitz PUD’s McMaster Expecting Up to 5 Percent Rise in Rate Next Year (Longview Daily News, WA)

Feds: Pacific Northwest Ratepayer Spending on Salmon Paying Off “…BPA power customers…paid $682 million last year to support fish & wildlife programs, accounting for about one-third of the power marketer’s wholesale rates…” (Electric Co-op Today)

Lawsuit Filed to Stop Snake River Dredging (Associated Press)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Wanapum Reservoir Raising Could Happen as Soon as This Weekend (Columbia Basin Herald, Moses Lake, WA)

Mason PUD 3 Adopts $63.7 Million 2015 Budget – Higher Wholesale Energy Prices Affect Local Rates (Mason PUD 3, Shelton, WA)

Pacific Northwest Public Utilities, Bonneville Power Administration Top Five-Year Energy Savings Target (Bonneville Power Administration)

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Weighs Government Pollution of Klamath River Tributary (Courthouse News Service)

Heavy Precipitation, Flooding, & a Cascade Meltdown - Yes, a typical Thanksgiving in the Pacific Northwest (Cliff Mass Weather Blog)

Pacific Northwest Public Utilities, Bonneville Power Administration Top Five-Year Energy Savings Target (Bonneville Power Administration)

Public power, BPA have saved at least 560 average megawatts since 2010

(PORTLAND, OR) --  Since 2010, Northwest publicly owned electric utilities and the Bonneville Power Administration have saved at least 560 average megawatts of electricity, greatly surpassing the five-year goal of 504 aMW set by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s Sixth Power Plan.

“Public power and BPA continue to lead the region’s energy efficiency efforts,” says Richard Génecé, vice president of Energy Efficiency. “And this fantastic accomplishment could only be achieved through the great collaboration that we have here in the Pacific Northwest.”

Although energy savings are still being reported, BPA and Northwest publicly owned electric utilities are projecting that they will have saved more than 560 aMW of electricity between 2010 and 2014. The five years of savings is enough to meet the power needs of more than 400,000 Northwest homes and adds up to at least $360 million in lower electric bills for Northwest ratepayers. The final savings achieved will be more precisely known in early 2015.

BPA and publicly owned electric utilities in the Northwest have worked hard not only to achieve but to substantially exceed the aggressive energy efficiency target.

“Public power’s investment in energy efficiency has produced impressive savings in the past five years,” said Scott Corwin, executive director of the Public Power Council, which represents the interests of publicly owned utilities in the Northwest. “This would not be possible without the commitment at the local level by utilities who know the needs of their retail customers.”

The region’s energy-saving goals are set by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, which includes two members from each of the four Northwest states (Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Washington). BPA and Northwest publicly owned utilities administer programs that pursue cost-effective energy savings in all sectors of the economy in support of public power’s share of the region’s energy efficiency target. Public power utilities are responsible for roughly 42 percent of the total regional target. This includes providing incentives for energy-saving upgrades, developing and implementing cutting-edge programs, and advancing new energy-efficient technologies, codes and standards.

Since 2010, there have been a number of standouts in the region’s efforts to enhance energy efficiency. Programs like BPA’s award-winning Energy Smart Industrial more than doubled the savings industrial facilities achieved compared to the previous five years (from 35 to over 75 aMW). The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, an organization that furthers the adoption of energy-efficient products, services and practices, supported by BPA, worked to improve the efficiency of the television market in the Northwest and achieved over 70 aMW of regional savings.

Standouts notwithstanding, a commitment to working together has been the key to success.

“Whether it’s an upgrade for a homeowner or a process improvement at an industrial plant, collaboration between utility and BPA staff and our members is essential to achieving the region’s energy conservation goals,” says Stan Price, executive director of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council, an industry association that promotes energy efficiency.

The region has exceeded the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s annual targets every year since 2005. Early reporting shows that BPA and Northwest publicly owned electric utilities saved 55 aMW of energy in fiscal year 2014, exceeding the target range of 48 to 56 aMW. (The fiscal year 2014 savings figure is preliminary and likely to be adjusted after all reporting from utilities is submitted and verified.)

“The region’s impressive accomplishments are saving money for consumers, protecting the environment by helping to limit carbon emissions from power plants, and keeping our electricity supply the cleanest and least expensive in the nation,” said Pat Smith, chair of the Council’s Power Committee, which is overseeing development of the upcoming Seventh Power Plan.

Since Congress passed the Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act in 1980, over half of the region’s new demand for electricity has been met through energy savings. In those 34 years, the Northwest has saved 5,600 aMW of electricity, enough energy to power four cities the size of Seattle for an entire year or about $3.5 billion in reduced electric bills for the people and businesses of the Northwest.

“Energy efficiency is our cleanest, quickest, cheapest new power source, and critical to meeting our carbon-reduction responsibilities,” said Sara Patton, NW Energy Coalition executive director. “We applaud Bonneville’s continuing efforts to help the region’s utilities meet and exceed their savings goals, and look forward to even greater accomplishments in coming years.”

According to the Council, the average cost of efficiency improvements is about $17 per megawatt-hour, about five times less than the cost of power from a new gas-fired plant. So without energy efficiency, the region would need to generate enough additional electricity to power 3.6 million Northwest homes.

“Northwesterners should be proud of the fact that energy efficiency is the second-largest power resource in the region,” Génecé adds. “By using energy more efficiently, we can extend the value of the federal power system and its ability to continue to provide clean, affordable, reliable energy for the region.”

Monday, November 24, 2014

Solar & Wind Energy Start to Win on Price vs. Conventional Fuels (NY Times)

Rocky Barker: Sockeye Get Their Wildness Back (Idaho Statesman, Boise)

A Power Plant in California Goes Quiet, but the Stacks Still Tower (NY Times)

Cowlitz County’s Marijuana Production Businesses Slow to Gain Traction (Longview Daily News, WA)

Facebook to Brands: No More Free Rides Will hide overly promotional posts in 2015 (AdWeek)

Friday, November 21, 2014

California Ratepayers Will Pay $3.3 Billion for San Onofre Closing (Utility Dive)

Seattle-Area Activists Call for Richland Nuclear Plant Shutdown – Energy Northwest Fires Back (Tri-City Herald, WA)

Salmon Returning to Cowlitz Hatchery in Record Numbers (KELA Radio, Centralia, WA)

Study: Cost of Energy Efficiency Under Half That of New Generation (Utility Dive)

Traveling Over the Mountain Passes This Weekend? Might Want to Bring the Chains (KCPQ-TV, Seattle, WA)

Salmon Returning to Cowlitz Hatchery in Record Numbers (KELA Radio, Centralia, WA)

(CHEHALIS, WA) -- Monday was a banner day at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery in Lewis County, where a record number of Coho salmon have already returned for the season.  Tacoma Power reports from August 16 through November 17, employees handled more than 87,000 Coho adults, topping the previous record of a little over 85,600 set in the 2002-2003 season.  The Coho run is still going strong and the utility anticipates the total for the 2014-2015 season will exceed 95,000 adult fish. The season ends in March 2015.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Washington State Carbon Cap Report to the Governor May Spur Action Statewide, But Obstacles Remain (Associated Press)

Wind Firm Sues to Block Release of Bird-Death Data (Associated Press)

Nuclear Agency Rules Are Ill-Suited for Plant Decommissioning, Leader Says (NY Times)

Puget Sound Energy Customers Getting $40 One-Time Credit – Related to Jefferson PUD Takeover (Puget Sound Business Journal, WA)

Study: Virus Killed Millions of Sea Stars on West Coast (Associated Press)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Franklin PUD to Begin Search for New General Manager (Franklin PUD, Pasco, WA)

(PASCO, WA) -- Ed Brost, General Manager of Franklin PUD since May 2008, notified PUD Commissioners on Monday, November 10th of his decision to step down from the position by May 2015.  He told Commissioners, “It has been a privilege to work with you and lead a great group of employees in serving District customers.”

Brost joined Franklin PUD in November 2006.  In addition to his role as General Manager, he serves on the Executive Committee of the Public Power Council, on the board of the Pacific Northwest Utilities Conference Committee, and the Energy Committee of the Washington PUD Association.  He also serves on the Executive and Resource Development Committees of the local United Way.


Franklin PUD will begin a search for a new General Manager immediately.  Brost will continue to serve as General Manager until the new hire is on board.  Information on the job posting will be available on the Franklin PUD website at www.franklinpud.com by December 1.  

Friday, November 7, 2014

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Windy Day on Tap As a Potent Storm Blows Ashore (KOMO-TV, Seattle, WA)

California: Pacific Gas & Electric Executive Linked to Email Scandal Gets $3 Million Severance Package (Silicon Valley Business Journal, CA)

Research Hints High Toll of Salmon Taken by Sea Lions (Spokesman Review, Spokane, WA)

Undaunted Washington State Governor: Election Losses Won’t Derail Climate Agenda (Washington State Wire, Olympia, WA)

Portland Drafts New Utility Cabinet Rules for Google Fiber & Others (Oregonian, Portland)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Friday, October 31, 2014

Lawsuit Challenges Washington State’s Decision to Approve Discharge Permit for Tri-Cities Nuclear Plant (Portland Business Journal, OR)

Washington State Ecology Staff at Odds with Gov. Inslee on Ocean Acidification Effects (Longview Daily News, WA)

SolarWorld’s $10 Million Expansion Includes 200 New Jobs (Portland Business Journal, OR)

State to Fine Owners of Mason County Water System for Neglect (KBKW Radio, Aberdeen, WA)

Mason PUD 3 Update - Electricity Restored at 3:00 AM to All Customers Affected by Tahuya Area Outage (Mason County PUD 3, Shelton, WA)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

British Columbia Energy Projects Face New Legal Hurdles (Globe & Mail, Canada)

Weather: Below-Average Snowfall Expected across Inland Northwest (Spokesman Review, Spokane, WA)

As Infrastructure Crumbles, Trillions of Gallons of Water Lost (National Public Radio)

Portland General Electric Status Report: Earnings Are Up, New Rates Are in the Offing & Three New Power Stations Are in the Pipeline (Portland Business Journal, OR)

British Columbia Energy Projects Face New Legal Hurdles (Globe & Mail, Canada)



Thursday, October 23, 2014

British Columbia Official Calls for Columbia River Treaty Accounting (Spokesman Review, Spokane, WA)

‘Smart Meter’ Contractor, City of Port Angeles Settle on Failed Project (Peninsula Daily News, Port Angeles, WA)

California Getting More Bakken Crude by Barge than Rail “…from barges loaded at terminals in the Pacific Northwest…” (Reuters)

‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’: How Utilities Are Powering the Marijuana Industry (Utility Dive)

Heavy Rainfall, Eclipse Weather, & Possible Saturday Windstorm (Cliff Mass Weather Blog)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Peace River Dam: Is Victoria All-In on Site C? No, Energy Minister Bennett Insists (Vancouver Sun, BC)

Los Angeles Sued By Two Companies over Rejection of Solar Array Plan (Los Angeles Times, CA)

Texas Plant to Capture, and Then Reuse, Carbon (NY Times)

Cable Blackouts Could Someday Be Broadband Blackouts, Too (Washington Post)

This Video about Dropping a Brick Is Worth a Few Laughs & 67 Million Gallons of Water (AdWeek)

Word Cloud - Energy News Digest for October 17, 2014


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Speculative Report Fuels Avista Trading “…speculative report…that the Spokane-based utility could be courting buyers…” (Spokesman Review, Spokane, WA)

Historic Coho Fishing Season Starts Friday on the Clearwater River (Idaho Statesman, Boise)

Official in Pacific Gas & Electric Judge-Shopping Case Won’t Vote on Blast Penalty (SF Chronicle)

Washington State’s Unemployment Rate Inched Up in September – Mason 7.4 Percent (Washington State Employment Security)

Google Fiber Will Launch in Austin in December (GigaOM)

Word Cloud - Energy News Digest for October 16, 2014


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Snow Forecast in Cascades High Country (KHQ-TV, Spokane, WA)

Pacific County PUD Sets Policy on New Large-Load Customers as Pot Farms Take Root (Chinook Observer, Long Beach, WA – Paywall Advisory)

Idaho Power’s Vital Boardman-To-Hemingway Transmission Line Wrestles with Permitting (Utility Dive)

The Risks of Cheap Water (NY Times)

Study: Recent Sea Level Rise is Highest in 6,000 Years (USA Today)

Word Cloud - Energy News Digest for October 15, 2014


Monday, October 13, 2014

FEMA Awards $2.35 Million in Disaster Funds for Okanogan County PUD (Federal Emergency Management Agency, DC)

Green Power Advocates Urge Shift Away from Coal - Protest Petitions Delivered to Puget Sound Energy (Vancouver Columbian, WA)

Pacific Northwest Energy Efficiency Gains Hit $3.5 Billion (Electric Co-op Today)

Environmentalists Eye Idaho Sage Grouse Ruling as Leverage for Similar Lawsuits Elsewhere (Associated Press)

Editorial: Snohomish PUD’s Tidal Project Well Worth the Investment (Everett Herald, WA)

Word Cloud - Energy News Digest for October 13, 2014


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Kieran Connolly Named Bonneville Power Administration Vice President of Generation & Asset Management (Bonneville Power Administration)

More than half of BPA exec team now permanent – including four of five in Power Services

(PORTLAND, OR) - Kieran Connolly has been named Bonneville Power Administration vice president of Generation and Asset Management in Power Services. Connolly’s appointment leaves only one executive position vacant among the five in BPA Power Services.

“Managing the federal system with our partners to meet the multiple purposes it serves is fundamental to the success of BPA and the region,” said BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer. “Kieran’s knowledge, background and experience are ideally suited for this position as we continue to manage power system operations in a changing and challenging Northwest energy landscape.”

Since April 2007, Connolly has served as BPA manage r of Generation Scheduling, which includes hydroelectric duty scheduling of the 31 dams in the Federal Columbia River Power System, day-ahead system planning and policy issues that impact real-time power system operations. Before that, Connolly was manage r of Regional Coordination in Power Services Generation and Asset Management’s Power and Operations Planning group. That job required knowledge of long-term sys tem modeling, coordination with Canada and fish operations.

In informing BPA Power Services employees of the decision, Senior Vice President Mark Gendron wrote: “Kieran has great knowledge of the federal power system and very impressive and diverse experience over a 23-year tenure at BPA. Kieran’s analytical, leadership, collaborative, and problem solving skills will be invaluable for BPA in his new role. He is perfectly suited to lead the organization to pre serve and enhance the federal generation assets that provide tremendous economic, environmental and operational value to the region.”

“I am honored to be asked to fill this role at a time when the hydro system is being asked to do so much,” Connolly said. “I look forward to ensuring the system continues to provide incredible value to Northwest ratepayers.”


Connolly began his career at BPA in 1991 as a supply system analyst. He holds a B.S. degree in Business Economics from Willamette University and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Portland. He lives in Beaverton, Ore., with his wife, Allison, and their three children.  

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Bonneville Regains Hiring Authorities; Managers Look to Bring “Very Difficult Chapter” to a Close (Oregonian, Portland)

Snohomish PUD Abandons Tidal Energy Project (Everett Herald, WA)

Officials Laud Record-Setting Columbia River Salmon Run (Oregonian Public Broadcasting)

Cascade Natural Gas Requests 5.6% Rate Hike to Cover Costs (Yakima Herald-Republic, WA)

There Are Now Three Million Data Centers in the U-S, & Climbing (Mashable)

Word Cloud - Energy News Digest for October 1, 2014


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mason PUD 3 Customers Should be on the Alert for Possible Telephone Scams (Mason County PUD 3, Shelton, WA)

Salmon Funds Approved for Ongoing Skokomish Restoration (Kitsap Sun, Bremerton, WA – Paywall Advisory)

Biologists Identify Pot Gardens as Salmon Threat (Associated Press)

Green Diamond: From Shelton Roots to Klamath Falls Forests (South Sound Business Examiner)

Word Cloud - Energy News Digest for September 30, 2014


Centralia College Gets $10 Million Federal Clean Energy Grant (KELA Radio, Centralia, WA)

(CENTRALIA, WA) -- Centralia College and the Center for Excellence for Clean Energy, a Centralia College partnership, received word Monday they have been awarded a federal grant for nearly 10-million dollars.  According to the college, the project, called Washington Integrated Sector Employment or WISE, is a statewide initiative that will reach nearly 2,000 adults including veterans.  WISE brings together the clean energy, construction, and advanced manufacturing sectors to help prepare participants for employment in entry level, pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship occupations. It will address the needs of unemployed, or under-employed dislocated workers, using innovative and sophisticated strategies.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Small Modular Nuclear Reactor Powering Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Vit Plant Could Save $300M, Study Says (Tri-City Herald, WA)

Devaluation of Wind Farms to Hit Government Coffers (Bakersfield Californian, CA)

California: Agencies at Odds over Wind Farm, Eagles at Odds over Wind Farm, Eagles (San Diego Union-Tribune, VA)

Electric Vehicles Sell Power Back to the Grid - Delaware Test Fleet Makes Money by Serving as an Electricity Reserve (Wall Street Journal)

Sea Lions Thwart Salmon, Pacific Northwest Wildlife Managers (Electric Co-op Today)

Word Cloud - Energy News Digest for September 29, 2014