Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Monday, April 28, 2014
(SHELTON, WA) -- The duck family took a stroll today at the Mason PUD 3 Johns Prairie operations center in Shelton. A quick crossing to check out the building, and then it's right back home: the stormwater collection pond at the center of the parking area. Very Cute!
Friday, April 25, 2014
(CENTRALIA, WA) -- Thousands of anglers will be out this weekend for the beginning of the lowland lakes fishing season which starts tomorrow (Saturday.) The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has stocked several hundred lowland lakes across the state with nearly 16.5 million trout and kokanee. WDFW director Phil Anderson says the lowland lakes season opener is the biggest fishing day of the year. He says lakes in every county are well stocked, so there should be good opportunities close to home. To participate, anglers must have a current Washington freshwater fishing license valid through March 31, 2015. Licenses can be purchased at hundreds of license dealers across the state or online at the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website.
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Complicating "Coal by Wires" Regulation, Minnesota Court Strikes Down Greenhouse Gas Regulation (GTH Energy & Natural Resources Law Blog)
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Growing Support for Hydropower as Renewable, Most Practical Energy Resource for the Pacific Northwest (Northwest RiverPartners, Portland, OR)
(PORTLAND, OR) -- On Earth Day especially, it’s important to recognize that the Northwest is a unique region where hydropower provides 90 percent of our renewable energy and keeps the air clean. New poll results show a growing awareness of hydro’s benefits to the region’s environment and economy.
When asked, 3 out of 4 Northwest residents identified hydropower as a clean, renewable energy resource. Moreover, a majority of residents (54 percent) consider hydropower to be the region’s most practical energy resource right now. Wind energy comes in at a distant second at 15 percent, with solar energy finishing third at 6 percent, according to the poll conducted by Davis, Hibbitts & Midghall (DHM Research) for Northwest RiverPartners.
“Wind and solar energy tend to get more attention, but Northwest residents need to know that hydro is what keeps the lights on,” said Terry Flores, executive director of Northwest RiverPartners. “Earth Day reminds us that clean, renewable hydropower is the Northwest’s special legacy and the reason our carbon footprint is half that of other parts of the nation.”
The 75 percent of Northwest residents who identify hydropower as clean, renewable energy is a slight increase from early 2013, when DHM conducted a similar poll. The percentage who views hydropower as the most practical resource also increased, from 47 to 54 percent of respondents. And 7 in 10 Northwest residents continue to believe that their state legislatures and Congress should declare hydro as a renewable energy source.
Flores credited her organization’s “CleanHydro” (cleanhydro.com) awareness effort, now in its second year, for helping to increase public support for and understanding of hydropower and the multiple benefits of the Columbia and Snake river system. Despite progress, there is more work to be done, especially among younger people and transplants to the Northwest who are less familiar with hydro’s benefits, Flores said.
“Many people simply have not grown up with the dams and may not have a complete understanding of the rich resources our rivers provide,” Flores says. “The goal of CleanHydro is to educate them about the Columbia and Snake rivers and the benefits of the clean, renewable energy they generate.”
DHM conducted the online poll of 1,200 residents of Idaho, Oregon and Washington State in late February. Additional findings in the poll show an appreciation for dams beyond the benefits of hydroelectric power. 74 percent of Pacific Northwest residents believe dams provide vital flood control that protects lives, private property and the economy of local communities. 78 percent say irrigation for farms that feed the Northwest and beyond is another fundamental asset provided by dams.
When it comes to the Snake River dams, specifically, the poll shows that a majority of residents agree they are critical to the Northwest. 60 percent of residents consider the four federal dams critical to the region and agree that removing them is an extreme measure that would do more harm than good. Only 11 percent indicated support for removing the dams. 29 percent of respondents answered, “don’t know” when asked about the issue.
“These poll results demonstrate significant public support for the Snake River dams and for hydropower in general,” Flores said. “But they also show us that we can and should do more to spread awareness about the multiple benefits of hydropower to the Northwest, not just on Earth Day, but all year-round.”
Monday, April 21, 2014
Friday, April 18, 2014
Pot, Power & Pollution: The Overlooked Impacts of Marijuana Legalization on Utilities & the Environment (GTH Energy & Natural Resources Law Blog)
Thursday, April 17, 2014
(CHEHALIS, WA) -- Lewis County PUD’s Safety Coordinator Jim Womble has received the Northwest Public Power Association’s prestigious Career Commitment to Safety Award. The award focuses on the importance of safety in the utility industry. It recognizes one person each year that has outstanding proficiency in safety, demonstrated leadership in safety in his or her utility and has made a significant contribution to safety within the industry during their career. Lewis County PUD says Womble was presented with the award at the recent NWPPA Engineering and Operation’s Conference.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Monday, April 14, 2014
Friday, April 11, 2014
Construction of Central Ferry-Lower Monumental Transmission Line begins in May - New line will bring more renewable wind energy west (Bonneville Power Administration)
(PORTLAND, OR) -- The Bonneville Power Administration will begin construction of the Central Ferry-Lower Monumental Transmission Line Project in May. The new line is expected to carry over 800 additional megawatts of renewable wind energy, enough to power about half a million Northwest homes when the wind is blowing. BPA will hold two “Meet the Builder” open houses in late April.
The 38-mile, 500-kilovolt line in Washington will connect the new Central Ferry Substation in Garfield County to the existing Lower Monumental Substation in Walla Walla County. It is expected to be energized in December 2015.
“Building the right facilities in the right place at the right time is a key principle of our long-term transmission services planning process,” said Richard Shaheen, BPA vice president for Engineering and Technical Services. “Specifically, this project will add critical transmission grid capacity, support new transmission requests from generators in the Snake River area and be a welcome boost to local and regional economies.”
Over the past several years, numerous power generation projects, including large wind projects, have requested interconnection with the BPA system in the Snake River area. After studying the transmission system and identifying where capacity is available, BPA determined that there is not enough available transmission capacity to accommodate the requests. Building the Central Ferry-Lower Monumental project will allow BPA to meet the requests for transmission and allow additional power to flow between areas east of the Cascade Mountains to heavily populated areas in the west.
In August 2011, the Central Ferry-Lower Monumental Transmission Line Project was put on hold because of uncertainties regarding the need for the new line. However, in August 2013, BPA notified customers, landowners and stakeholders that it was moving forward with construction of the line. Existing customer need coupled with an agreement for Portland General Electric to acquire Phase 2 of Puget Sound Energy’s Lower Snake River Wind Project, which PGE renamed the Tucannon River Wind Farm, required construction activities to begin this spring.
The Tucannon River Wind Farm is a key infrastructure investment that supports PGE’s balanced energy portfolio. Tucannon River will help PGE satisfy Oregon’s renewable energy standard, which requires the utility to supply 15 percent of the electricity its customers use from renewable resources by 2015 and 25 percent by 2025.
In early 2011, BPA completed an environmental impact statement and preliminary engineering design for the project. BPA issued a record of decision to build the line in March 2011. Since then, BPA has conducted additional environmental review of some access road modifications and a material yard.
The contractor hired to build the new line is MYR Group, a leading specialty contractor serving the electrical infrastructure market throughout the United States. It has the experience and expertise to complete electrical installations of any type and size. MYR Group’s power line capabilities include transmission, overhead and underground distribution and substation projects.
For more information, visit the project website at www.bpa.gov/go/centralferrylomo.
April 22, 20144-7 p.m.
Best Western Plus, 7 E. Oak St., Walla Walla, Wash.
Best Western Plus, 7 E. Oak St., Walla Walla, Wash.
April 23, 2014
Best Western Plus, Dayton Hotel and Suites, 507 E. Main St., Dayton, Wash.
California: Pacific Gas & Offers $250,000 Reward for Information on Attack on Silicon Valley Phone Lines, Power Grid (Casta.Net)
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Monday, April 7, 2014
94 Utilities Honored with National Award for Reliable Electric Operations (Kudos to Mason PUD 3, Clark Public Utilities, Clallam County PUD & Grays Harbor PUD for their awards - American Public Power Association)
Mason PUD 3 Receives National Recognition for Reliable Electric Operations – Gets Highest Level of Distinction (Mason County PUD 3, Shelton, WA)
Mason PUD 3 has been designated as a diamond level utility in this year’s Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) designation from the American Public Power Association (APPA). The designation recognizes PUD 3 for providing its customers with the highest degree of reliable and safe electric service. PUD 3 is one of 94 of the nation’s more than 2,000 public power utilities to earn the RP3 recognition and one of 29 to reach the diamond level.
Brent McKinney, manager, electric transmission and distribution at City Utilities of Springfield, Missouri, and chair of APPA’s RP3 Review Panel, announced the award today (April 7). The three levels of the designation are diamond (the highest), platinum and gold.
The RP3 designation recognizes public power utilities that excel in four key areas: reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement. Criteria within each category are based on sound business practices and represent a utility-wide commitment to safe and reliable delivery of electricity.
“RP3 utilities are providing a high level of service to communities all over the country,” said McKinney, “These 94 designees stand out as models of safe, reliable and forward-thinking utility operations.” The utilities that earned the designation this year join 90 that received it last year.
“We’re honored to receive the RP3 designation,” said Annette Creekpaum, PUD 3 manager. “Our utility staff works hard to serve this community with safe, reliable and cost-based service. RP3 represents a much-appreciated recognition of this effort. We’re pleased that along with the consistent recognition of the excellence of our financial management, we can now celebrate the independent certification of the excellence of our operational reliability.”
Other Washington State public utilities who received RP3 designation today include:
- Clark Public Utilities (Platinum Level)
- Clallam County PUD (Platinum Level)
- Grays Harbor PUD (Gold Level)
- A full list of the designees is available here
APPA is the national organization representing more than 2,000 not-for-profit, community- and state- owned electric utilities. It is located in Washington, D.C.
(RP3 is a registered service mark of APPA)
(CENTRALIA, WA) -- For the next several months, residents in parts of Centralia will notice crews trimming tree branches and limbs near power lines. Rick Evans with Centralia City Light says it’s part of the local utility’s annual tree-trimming program. Evans says this year the contract tree-trimming crews from Asplundh will be working in the Centralia City Light service area east of I-5 and south of Reynolds Avenue. Evans says there could be minor traffic impacts from time to time. The tree-trimming begins this week and will continue through the end of September.
Friday, April 4, 2014
Governor Inslee Approves Supplemental Washington State Appropriations Budget; Includes Nuclear Power Study (Washington PUD Association)
(OLYMPIA, WA) -- Governor Inslee signed the supplemental appropriations budget this morning. The budget contained language authorizing a joint select Nuclear Energy Task Force to study the generation of energy in the region through the use of nuclear power.
Dale Atkinson testified twice on behalf of Energy Northwest in support of this legislation. The American Nuclear Society, the Nuclear Energy Institute and IBEW submitted support letters, and WPUDA joined Energy Northwest in supporting legislation calling for the study. The original bill did not advance to a House vote by the legislative deadline despite strong bipartisan support in both houses, but Senator Ericksen, the bill’s sponsor, inserted the nuclear energy task force language into the supplemental appropriations bill in conference committee.