Thursday, December 31, 2015

Washington State Carbon Initiative Aims to Raise & Cut Taxes (KING-TV, Seattle, WA)

California: Pacific Gas & Electric Details How Much Your Bill Will Rise in 2016 (SF Chronicle)

Oregon: Canadian Company Plans 10-Megawatt Solar Farm near Redmond (Associated Press)

Number of Species Awaiting Endangered Protection Drops to All-Time Low (Christian Science Monitor)

Water Reservoir Proposal Could Help Economy & Ecosystem of Yakima Basin (Yakima Herald-Republic, WA)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Bonneville Power Administration selects new vice president of Transmission Planning and Asset Management (Bonneville Power Administration)

(PORTLAND, OR) -- The Bonneville Power Administration has selected Jeff Cook to be its vice president of Transmission Planning and Asset Management. He will begin his new position Dec. 27.

“Jeff has over two decades of experience in the utility industry driving and leading innovative solutions to complex problems,” said Richard Shaheen, senior vice president for Transmission Services. “He is the right candidate to guide our efforts in proactively preserving and enhancing the value of BPA’s transmission system for the benefit of the greater Northwest.”

As leader of BPA’s Planning and Asset Management organization, Cook will oversee the transmission system asset management program to promote the reliability, efficiency and economical use of all transmission-related physical assets.

Cook also will guide the development of an asset management system framework that will help inform decisions on near- and long-term activities and strategies to meet the predicted future demands on BPA’s transmission system, achieve its desired performance levels and realize the lowest life-cycle costs for these assets.

“Dynamic market changes, and heightened regional and inter-regional planning and technology advancements will significantly impact the Northwest transmission networks,” Cook said. “I am thrilled about being a part of this exciting season in the electric utility industry and am honored to lead our Transmission Planning and Asset Management team.”

Cook came to BPA in March of 2004 as an electrical engineer for its control and communication systems. He later managed the Customer Service Engineering group and Transmission’s Communication and Grid Modeling group. Last spring, Cook became the acting vice president of Engineering and Technical Services and then moved to the acting vice president of Planning and Asset Management, the position he now assumes in a permanent role.

Prior to BPA, Cook worked for several utility and communication companies, including CenturyTel and Pacific Power and Light. Cook earned his bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from Colorado State University in 1990. He holds a professional engineering license in Oregon.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Energy News Digest for December 8, 2015

SHELTON FORECAST & WEATHER ALERTS

Weather Forecast for December 8, 2015

Wind Advisory for Western Washington, Including Mason County

HOT SHOTS – TODAY’S TOP FIVE STORIES

More Flood Warnings & a Wind Advisory Tuesday (KING-TV, Seattle, WA)

Without Oregon Utilities Nod, Coos Bay WindFloat Dead in the Water (Coos Bay Wortld, OR)

Washington State’s Governor Signs Climate Change Agreements in Paris (Associated Press)

A Bad Year for Idaho Sockeye Could Mean a Promising Future (Boise State Public Radio, ID)

Potentially Toxic Lead Paint on Some Pacific Gas & Electric Power-Line Towers Flaking Off (San Jose Mercury News, CA)

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS (Details Below)
  • Potentially Toxic Lead Paint on Some Pacific Gas & Electric Power-Line Towers Flaking Off
  • Grays Harbor PUD Commissioners Approve 2016 Budget
  • Newhouse Votes to Support Hydropower, Rural Utilities
  • PUD Association Recognizes Mason PUD 3 Employees; Awards Scholarship to Son of PUD 3 Employee
  • Editorial: Central Lincoln PUD Move Is a Wise Decision
  • Consumers Energy Offers 10 Electric Safety Tips for the Holiday Season
  • Residents of Crimea Make Do While They’re without Power
  • A Bad Year for Idaho Sockeye Could Mean a Promising Future
  • Modoc Sucker, a Small Fish, Taken Off Endangered List
  • California Mulls New Water Plan to Save Imperiled Salmon
  • Beards Cove, Skokomish Delta – Two Mason County Shoreline Restoration Projects Receive State Grants
  • Columbia Gorge Water Bottling Ban Closer to Ballot
  • Without Oregon Utilities Nod, Coos Bay WindFloat Dead in the Water
  • Vestas Boosts Wind Energy Market Share with Acquisition
  • U-S Lawmakers Propose Five-Year Phase-Out of Renewable Tax Credits
  • A Solar Champion Predicts Immediate Spike, Future Slowdowns as Incentive Expires
  • U-S to Join World in Push for LED Lights
  • How Much Are LED Holiday Lights Going To Save American Families This Year?
  • Three Years In, Legal Marijuana Sales Soaring in Washington State
  • Washington State’s Governor Signs Climate Change Agreements in Paris
  • News Release: Inslee Solidifies International Partnerships to Take Action on Climate Change, Cites Snohomish PUD Project
  • Oregon: Titles Released for Anti-Clean Fuels Ballot Measures
  • Carbon Tax Increase Would Jeapordize LNG Economy, Says Industry
  • The House Designed to Pay Your Energy Bill Actually Works
  • The Violent Afterlife of a Recycled Plastic Bottle
  • Google Fiber Eyes Chicago & Los Angeles; Portland Still Waiting
  • Are You Allergic to Wi-Fi?
  • Why Brands Are Ditching Twitter’s 6-Second Vine App
  • YouTube Seeking Rights to TV Shows & Movies, Report Says
  • Five Ways to Improve Your Social Media Results
  • Voice-Over Actors Are Talking Up the Apps That Help Them Get Work
  • Washington State Lawmakers Introduce Resolution to Impeach Auditor Kelley
  • More Flood Warnings & a Wind Advisory Tuesday
  • Wondering Where All the Snow Is? Mount Rainier Forecast to Get More Than 15 Feet This Week
WORD OF THE DAY

Orphic • \ORR-fick\ • Adjective - 1: of or relating to Orpheus or the rites or doctrines ascribed to him 2: of, relating to, being, or resembling an oracle: oracular, mystic 3: fascinating, entrancing

“Dude, your mom’s brownies are absolutely the BEST,” enthused the slacker student to his straight-laced roommate. With each bite, the orphic quality of the baked goods seemed to become more elevated. (I guess where you can see this feeble attempt at drug humor is going. Feel free to use your imagination to envision the effects of the next few helpings of these most excellent brownies.)

ENERGY & UTILITY ISSUES

Potentially Toxic Lead Paint on Some Pacific Gas & Electric Power-Line Towers Flaking Off (San Jose Mercury News, CA)

Grays Harbor PUD Commissioners Approve 2016 Budget (KBKW Radio, Aberdeen, WA)

Newhouse Votes to Support Hydropower, Rural Utilities (Columbia Basin Herald, Moses Lake, WA)

PUD Association Recognizes Mason PUD 3 Employees; Awards Scholarship to Son of PUD 3 Employee (Mason Web TV, Shelton, WA)

Editorial: Central Lincoln PUD Move Is a Wise Decision (Newport News-Times, OR)

Consumers Energy Offers 10 Electric Safety Tips for the Holiday Season (Electric Energy Online)

Residents of Crimea Make Do While They’re without Power (National Public Radio)

FISH & WILDLIFE

A Bad Year for Idaho Sockeye Could Mean a Promising Future (Boise State Public Radio, ID)

Modoc Sucker, a Small Fish, Taken Off Endangered List (Associated Press)

California Mulls New Water Plan to Save Imperiled Salmon (Sacramento Bee, CA)

WATER & THE ENVIRONMENT

Beards Cove, Skokomish Delta – Two Mason County Shoreline Restoration Projects Receive State Grants (Mason Web TV, Shelton, WA)

Columbia Gorge Water Bottling Ban Closer to Ballot (KGW-TV, Portland, OR)

RENEWABLE ENERGY

Without Oregon Utilities Nod, Coos Bay WindFloat Dead in the Water (Coos Bay Wortld, OR)

Vestas Boosts Wind Energy Market Share with Acquisition (Portland Business Journal, OR)

U-S Lawmakers Propose Five-Year Phase-Out of Renewable Tax Credits (Utility Dive)

A Solar Champion Predicts Immediate Spike, Future Slowdowns as Incentive Expires (Portland Business Journal, OR)

CONSERVATION & EFFICIENCY

U-S to Join World in Push for LED Lights (Washington Examiner)

How Much Are LED Holiday Lights Going To Save American Families This Year? (Forbes Magazine)

KILOWATTS FOR CANNABIS

Three Years In, Legal Marijuana Sales Soaring in Washington State (Spokesman Review, Spokane, WA)

CLIMATE CHANGE SEQUESTRATION VAULT

Washington State’s Governor Signs Climate Change Agreements in Paris (Associated Press)

News Release: Inslee Solidifies International Partnerships to Take Action on Climate Change, Cites Snohomish PUD Project (Governor Jay Inslee, Washington State)

Oregon: Titles Released for Anti-Clean Fuels Ballot Measures (Oregonian, Portland)

Carbon Tax Increase Would Jeapordize LNG Economy, Says Industry (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

BARREL O’ GREEN POTPOURRI

The House Designed to Pay Your Energy Bill Actually Works (Northwest Public Radio)

The Violent Afterlife of a Recycled Plastic Bottle (The Atlantic)

TECHNOLOGY & TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Google Fiber Eyes Chicago & Los Angeles; Portland Still Waiting (Oregonian, Portland)

Are You Allergic to Wi-Fi? (KOIN-TV, Portland, OR)

MARKETING & MEDIA

Why Brands Are Ditching Twitter’s 6-Second Vine App (AdWeek)

YouTube Seeking Rights to TV Shows & Movies, Report Says (San Jose Mercury News, CA)

Five Ways to Improve Your Social Media Results (Social Media Examiner)

Voice-Over Actors Are Talking Up the Apps That Help Them Get Work (San Jose Mercury News, CA)

POLITICS & GOVERNANCE

Washington State Lawmakers Introduce Resolution to Impeach Auditor Kelley (Northwest Public Radio)

GENERAL NEWS

More Flood Warnings & a Wind Advisory Tuesday (KING-TV, Seattle, WA)

Wondering Where All the Snow Is? Mount Rainier Forecast to Get More Than 15 Feet This Week. (Washington Post)

DIVERSIONS

This Smart Car Seems to Have Tattled on Its Driver

Stunning Photos Show Now Defunct ‘Land of Oz’ Theme Park in North Carolina

UW Climatologist: Monday One of the Darkest Days in Nine Years

To Whom It May Concern: Please Claim Your Boeing 747s

SONG OF THE DAY

Lena Horne – Stormy Weather

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LINKS & PAYWALL ADVISORY

All the links in today’s news digest lead to current stories. Please note that some media organizations update their websites regularly, which may result in broken links in the future.

Note that as some newspapers migrate to a “paywall” system of access, some articles may not be available without forking over some cold hard credit card cash. However, some sites will allow a certain number of story accesses per month before holding out their hand. Sorry if this is an inconvenience.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Forecasters Heavy Rain Means Landslide Danger and Flooding

Special Weather Statement for Heavy Rain & Landslide Danger
  • Southwest Interior (South Mason County)
  • Hood Canal Area (North Mason County)
  • Western Whatcom County
  • Western Skagit County
  • Everett & Vicinity
  • Tacoma Area
  • Lower Chehalis Valley Area
  • Western Strait of Juan de Fuca
  • North Coast
  • Central Coast
  • East Puget Sound Lowlands
  • Bellevue & Vicinity
  • Seattle & Vicinity
  • Bremerton & Vicinity
Heavy rainfall today through Wednesday will lead to an increased threat of landslides in western Washington State.

Periods of heavy rainfall over the past week have increased soil moisture to moderate levels across western Washington State. Heavy rainfall of 2 to 5 inches across the interior lowlands and 3 to 6 inches along the coast is expected today through Wednesday. This amount of rain will put extra pressure on soil instability, leading to an increased threat of landslides.

Flood Watch in Effect from Tuesday Morning through Wednesday Afternoon

The National Weather Service in Seattle has issued a flood watch for much of Western Washington State, including Mason County.

Excessive rain, especially in the mountains, will probably result in flooding on the more flood prone rivers of western Washington State beginning Tuesday or Tuesday night. Minor to moderate flooding is possible on most of the rivers that flow off the Olympic Mountains and the west slopes of the Cascade Mountains. Most rivers should crest Wednesday or Wednesday night.


A succession of strong fronts will bring around 5 to 11 inches of precipitation to the mountains of western Washington today through Tuesday night. The snow level will rise to 5500 to 6500 feet today and 8000 feet on Tuesday, then start falling late Tuesday night to around 3500 to 4500 feet late Wednesday.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Gov. Inslee Declares State of Emergency Due to Windstorms & Extreme Rainfall (KNDO/KNDU-TV, Tri Cities, WA)

Snohomish PUD Still Working to Restore Power to 22,000 (Everett Herald, WA)

Washington State Plowing Ahead with Greenhouse Gas Limits (Northwest Public Radio)

Oregon: EWEB President Says Contract to Buy Power from Seneca Wood-Burning Plant Was “Mistake” (Eugene Register-Guard, OR)

Snake River Salmon Closing in on Record (Twin Falls Times News, ID)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Looming Storm Has Potential for 55-60 Mph Winds Tuesday (KOMO-TV, Seattle, WA)

Global Warming Could Be Melting Ancient Greenhouse Gases under Oregon Coast (Oregonian, Portland)

Nuclear Fuel Leak at Columbia Generating Station Poses “Zero Safety Risk,” Operators Say (Oregonian, Portland)

Oregon: Officials Say Apple Is Now Prineville’s Top Water User (Associated Press)

Report: Fish Also Fought Warm Water at Dams along Columbia This Summer (Yakima Herald-Republic, WA)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Two-Day Storm to Pummel Region with Heavy Rains, Strong Winds (KOMO-TV, Seattle, WA)

Chinook Salmon Numbers Surge in U-S Columbia River System (Reuters)

First of Three Cowlitz PUD Community Solar Panel Projects Funded (Longview Daily News, WA)

This Tiny Town in Central Washington is Home to Some of the Biggest Tech Companies. Here’s Why (Puget Sound Business Journal, WA)

As American Homes Get Bigger, Energy Efficiency Gains Are Wiped Out (Pew Research)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Bonneville Power Administration Energizes a New 500-Kilovolt Line in Southeastern Washington (Bonneville Power Administration)

Washington State Joins Legal Fight to Defend Obama Climate Plan (KCPQ-TV, Seattle, WA)

Chinese Company May Get Behind Klickitat County PUD Reservoir System (Yakima Herald-Republic, WA)

Shelton: New Marijuana Business Gets Majority Support from City Commissioners (KMAS Radio, Shelton, WA)

Arizona: Regulators Defend Calling Trash Burning 'Renewable Energy' (Arizona Daily Star, Tucson)

Bonneville Power Administration Energizes a New 500-Kilovolt Line in Southeastern Washington (Bonneville Power Administration)

(PORTLAND, OR) -- At 4:33 PM Tuesday, the Bonneville Power Administration energized and brought into service a new 500-kilovolt transmission line in southeastern Washington.

The 38-mile, single-circuit line connects BPA’s Central Ferry Substation near the Port of Central Ferry in Garfield County, Wash., to BPA’s Lower Monumental Substation in Walla Walla County. The line increases the electrical capacity of BPA’s transmission system in response to requests for transmission service in this area.

“Energizing a project of this size and magnitude requires substantial work across our transmission organization,” said Chad Hamel, the project manager for the new line. “Our talented people in Field Services, planning, engineering, contracting and construction management, environmental and cultural compliance, real estate and dozens of others behind the scenes made this project seamless.

“The final step of bringing the line into service went smoothly and as planned, which is a testament to the hard work and preparation by the entire project team.”

Construction on the Central Ferry-Lower Monumental line began in May 2014, following an extensive environmental review and public engagement process.

Later this month, BPA anticipates energizing another 500-kilovolt line in north-central Oregon and south-central Washington. The 28-mile Big Eddy-Knight line will connect the Big Eddy Substation in The Dalles, Ore., to Knight Substation near Goldendale, Wash.

The two projects – Central Ferry-Lower Monumental and Big Eddy-Knight – will bolster system reliability and enable BPA to carry a significant amount of new generating resources, including wind, to population centers in western Oregon and Washington.


BPA operates three-fourths of the high-voltage transmission lines in the Northwest with more than 15,000 circuit miles. Consistent with its Open Access Transmission Tariff, BPA has an obligation to ensure sufficient capability to serve its customers through a safe and reliable transmission system.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Alcoa Decision to Idle Plants Comes after Tax Breaks Renewed – Language that would have required Alcoa to pay back those tax savings if it laid off workers was not included in the final deal (Northwest Public Radio)

Power Shift: Data Centers to Replace Aluminum Industry as Largest Energy Consumers in Washington State (Puget Sound Business Journal, WA)

Federal Plan for Snake River Fall Chinook Recovery Unveiled (Oregonian, Portland)

Silicon Supply Lawsuit Could Threaten SolarWorld’s Existence (Portland Business Journal, OR)

Mason County Unofficial Election Results (Mason Web TV, Shelton, WA)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Alcoa to Idle Smelters at Ferndale, Wenatchee Plants (Bellingham Herald, WA)

California Ballot Initiative Would Eliminate Investor Owned Utilities, Establish Statewide Public Utility (Utility Dive)

Electricity Restored after Head-On Collision with Utility Pole Leaves 10,377 in the Dark East of Port Angeles (Peninsula Daily News, Port Angeles, WA)

These 13 U-S States Saw Carbon Pollution Go Up over a Decade (National Geographic)

Twitter Makes 'Heart' Icon the New 'Like' Button (USA Today)

A Rate Decrease for Puget Sound Energy Natural Gas Customers (KELA Radio, Centralia, WA)

(CENTRALIA, WA) -- Puget Sound Energy natural gas customers will be paying less starting this month. The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission approved a 15-percent decrease in natural gas rates for PSE customers in several Washington counties, including parts of Thurston and Lewis counties.  According to the UTC, the average PSE bill for someone using 68 therms per month will drop by $12.54 to an average of $68.61 a month.  The rate decrease, which went into effect on November 1, is due to a drop in the wholesale cost of natural gas.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Former Hurricane Oho Reached the Northwest, But Not as a Hurricane (KIRO Broadcasting, Seattle, WA)

Columbus Day Storm: Granddaddy of All Pacific Northwest Windstorms Was ‘Extraordinary’ (KIRO Broadcasting, Seattle, WA)

Facebook & Prineville: What the Social Network Gets & What It Gives (Oregonian, Portland)

California Sea Lions This Year Take Big Chunk Out of Willamette River Spring Chinook Run (Columbia Basin Bulletin)

Editorial: California Has Unspent Billions from Carbon Auctions (Sacramento Bee, CA)

Three Grant PUD employees remain at Harborview Medical Center (Grant PUD, Ephrata, WA)

(EPHRATA, WA) -- Three employees remain at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle following last week’s accident at Grant PUD’s Priest Rapids Dam which hospitalized six power-plant electricians and operators.
Over the past weekend, two employees were discharged, one remains in satisfactory condition, one remains in critical condition, and one has improved to serious condition.
“I can think of nothing worse than one of our employees not returning home to see their family at the end of a workday. We continue to rally around these employees and their families to provide whatever support we can,” said Grant PUD General Manager Tony Webb.
A support fund has been established at Granco Federal Credit Union in Ephrata, Washington for the injured employees and their families. Those interested in making a contribution can do so by sending a donation to Granco Credit Union at: PO Box 127 Ephrata, WA 98823 or in person at their Ephrata location: 217 Alder St. SW Ephrata WA 98823. All donations should be earmarked “Priest Rapids Family Fund.”
Inspectors from the Washington Department of Labor and Industries were on site last week to begin what will likely be weeks of investigation into the cause of an electrical equipment failure in the Priest Rapids Dam power plant. The equipment failure was isolated to one of ten generating units at the dam. The main circuit breaker, which acts as an on-off switch for the generating unit, malfunctioned, causing the employees to be injured. The generating unit will not operate again until the investigation is finished.
The dam is stable and remains in operating condition. There are no associated public safety issues or downstream flooding impacts. The results of the investigation will be provided to commissioners upon completion.
Additional informational updates related to this incident will be provided during Grant PUD public meetings on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month.

Sacramento Municipal Utility District Uses Mule Train to Move New Hydro Equipment (Northwest Public Power Association)

(SACRAMENTO, CA) --  Engineers and contractors with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District loaded a helicopter and 20 pack mules with three tons of construction equipment, tools, and camping supplies for a journey through the Desolation Wilderness to replace a valve at Rubicon Dam and replace a weir at Buck Island Reservoir. The reservoirs are located in the remotest regions of SMUD’s 688-megawatt Upper American River Project hydroelectric system.

Since there are no roads to get there, transportation is limited to hikers and pack animals, which is challenging when the load includes a 2,300-pound valve, two generators that weigh almost that much, two sections of pipe weighing 900 pounds each, and assorted heavy tools and equipment.

The valve on Rubicon Dam was replaced because a new operating license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requires SMUD to release higher water volumes than the old valve could handle. The weir at Buck Island measures and verifies the flow rate of water released from the reservoir and was about 50 years old. Two separate groups of employees and contractors worked 12-hour days for the 10-day construction project.

The U.S. Forest Service limits mechanized equipment in the wilderness to the extent possible to maintain its tranquility. The Forest Service allows SMUD a minimal number of helicopter flights across the wilderness boundary for regular maintenance activities at the facility. Sometimes additional flights are needed for special projects. For the valve-replacement project, SMUD and the Forest Service agreed to allow hauling of some heavy or awkward items by helicopter while transporting the bulk of food and equipment using a team of 20 pack mules and four mule handlers.

The mules are owned and handled by a contractor. Their journey began at a base camp at the Loon Lake equestrian campground. From there, the mule team traveled unloaded for the first five miles on the Rubicon Trail. SMUD transported all the equipment and supplies by helicopter from Loon Lake to the border of Desolation Wilderness. At the border, the mules were loaded up for the final 1.6 miles to Rubicon Dam. A team of five mules and one or two handlers made supply runs to the Rubicon camp to deliver ice and food and to haul away trash.

As the projects were so remote and without quick access to emergency medical services, SMUD provided CPR and first-aid training, and both groups were equipped with well-stocked first-aid and trauma kits, including oxygen tanks. Because there is no cell phone reception in the backcountry, the groups kept in touch with two-way radios and satellite phones.

Following installation of the new valve, the mules hauled back all the equipment and waste to the wilderness border. SMUD left the area the way it was found, respecting the leave-no-trace philosophy that is typical of all SMUD projects.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Court Reverses State Decision about Yelm Water Rights (KELA Radio, Centralia, WA)

(OLYMPIA, WA) -- The Washington Supreme Court has reversed a decision by the state to grant new water rights to the city of Yelm to serve its growing population. The court on Thursday ruled 6-3 that the Department of Ecology exceeded its authority in approving Yelm's water rights under a narrow exception in cases where water is limited. In the majority opinion, Justice Charles Johnson wrote that municipal water needs do not rise to the level of overriding public interest. DOE says the permit would have provided about 841,000 gallons of water a day, or enough water to serve 1,682 homes. It's not clear how the decision will affect the Thurston County city of about 7,500 people.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

BPA Makes 32nd Consecutive Annual U-S Treasury Payment on Time & In Full (Bonneville Power Administration)

(PORTLAND, OR) -- The Bonneville Power Administration today announced that it completed its 32nd consecutive annual payment to the U.S. Treasury on time and in full.

The total payment was $891 million for fiscal year 2015, which ended Sept. 30.

“Our enduring focus on sound financial management has enabled us to fulfill our commitment to make our Treasury payment for over three decades,” said Nancy Mitman, BPA’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. “This year’s payment reaffirms our diligence on cost discipline and risk management.”

BPA’s cumulative payments to the U.S. Treasury during those 32 years amount to more than $25.7 billion.

This year’s payment includes: $449 million in principal; $350 million in interest; $52 million in irrigation assistance payments and $40 million in other payments. Of the $891 million total payment, $118 million was paid by applying Treasury credits for nonpower-related fish mitigation efforts and other credits, including interest earnings. The $449 million in principal includes $229 million in early retirement of higher interest rate U.S. Treasury debt. This was made possible by a regional cooperation debt transaction this year through which Energy Northwest issued BPA-supported bonds to refinance debt. That action made available BPA resources that are now being used for the additional payment to the U.S. Treasury.

Completing the Treasury payment is the last financial transaction BPA makes each fiscal year, and the majority of the payment occurs after all other obligations have been met.

BPA establishes rates around a high probability of this repayment, at least a 95 percent certainty of making its annual scheduled Treasury payments over two consecutive years, to assure full and timely payment for the benefit of American taxpayers. This equates to a 97.5 percent certainty of making annual scheduled payments in a single year of the rate period.

In addition to the U.S. Treasury payment, BPA paid operations and maintenance expenses for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife service projects directly funded by BPA. This direct funding amounted to $388 million in fiscal year 2015.


BPA is a self-financed power marketing administration that receives no annual appropriations from the U.S. Congress. Instead, BPA primarily recovers its costs through revenues from the sale of electric power and transmission services.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Portland General Electric Power Plant Rising on Eastern Oregon Countryside (Associated Press)

Oregon: Environmental Group Files Ballot Measures for Coal-Free Power by 2030 (Oregonian, Portland)

Groups Form Alliance to Tackle Climate Change by Washington State Initiative (KIRO Broadcasting, Seattle, WA)

Google Fiber at Last? Portland Begins Fielding Applications for 'Fiber Huts' (Oregonian, Portland)

Fatal Fire in Shelton (Mason Web TV, Shelton, WA)

Bonneville Power Administration Opens New Visitor Center (Bonneville Power Administration)

BPA hosts grand opening and open house, Oct. 7

(PORTLAND, OR) -- The Bonneville Power Administration is opening a new visitor center at its headquarters in Portland, Ore. The center, housed in the BPA Library, offers a fun, informative and interactive experience for visitors of all ages interested in learning more about BPA’s history and the electrification of the Northwest.

“This new visitor center captures our rich history that has benefited the Northwest and the nation,” said BPA Administrator and CEO Elliot Mainzer. “We invite folks to come and explore the development of clean, low-cost federal hydroelectric power in the Northwest and the many benefits the federal power system provides the region today and for generations to come.”

The new center features hundreds of historic photographs, dozens of films and interactive maps and games. “The center is a fun way for the public, especially young people, to explore the history of electric power in the Northwest,” said BPA librarian Kaye Silver.

BPA is hosting a grand opening, Oct. 7 from noon to 3 p.m. The event includes a ribbon-cutting ceremony, a special presentation about Stephen Kahn, BPA’s first information officer, and a reception followed by an open house. Stephen Kahn’s daughter, Karen, is a special guest. Click here to view the invitation.

The BPA Library and Visitor Center is open to the public. It’s located inside BPA’s headquarters building at 905 NE 11th Ave., Portland, OR 97232. *Please note that the BPA Visitor Center is separate from the Bonneville Lock and Dam Visitor Center. All visitors to BPA must present a valid driver’s license or government issued identification. Please allow extra time for airport-like security screening upon entry.

In addition to the new center, the BPA Library and Visitor Center offers other resources to the public. You can check out materials from BPA’s collection through interlibrary loan from your local library or set up a BPA Library account. As a federal depository, the BPA Library collects books, reports and microforms issued by government agencies and library staff can help with research of BPA’s document archives, many of which have BPA’s new visitor center features hundreds of historic photographs, dozens of films and interactive maps and games. been digitized. To contact the BPA Library and Visitor Center, call 503-230-INFO (4636) or email visitorcenter@bpa.gov.

BPA Library History



The BPA Library was established in 1939, two years after the creation of BPA. It was originally part of the marketing division under BPA’s Project and Contract Department, but moved to BPA’s Information Division by the end of its first year. In its early days, it handled research, cataloging, indexing and circulation, and also prepared bibliographies, digests and summaries on technical topics. When it opened, it was located in the Holladay building beside BPA’s original headquarters in the Lloyd District. In 1983, it moved to a building near Benson Polytechnic High School. And then in 1989, it moved to BPA’s new headquarters building on 11th Avenue where it has been on the first floor ever since.

PenLight to Launch Harbor Community Solar Project (Northwest Public Power Association)

(GIG HARBOR, WA) -- Peninsula Light Co. has partnered with the Harbor History Museum and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation to launch a community solar project that will be open to PenLight members this fall.

The Harbor Community Solar project, a 60-kilowatt system, will be constructed on the roof of the Harbor History Museum. When it’s operational, the system will generate power for the museum, and program participants will be eligible for annual state incentive payments through July 2020. PenLight has selected A&R Solar of Seattle through a competitive-bid process to install the system.

Here’s how members can sign up to participate:

All registrations will be submitted at www.penlight.org
  • Purchase solar unit(s): $100 each
  • Total units available: 1,850
  • Maximum per member: 100 units
  • Annual state incentive*: About $33/unit
  • Deadline to sign up: November 6, 2015
  • Lottery to select participants: November 13, 2015
  • Full payment due: December 14, 2015
  • Annual rebates end: July 2020


*The annual incentive is based on the total solar production from year to year.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Tacoma Power to Build Community Solar Project, Invites Customers to Invest (Tacoma Power, WA)

(TACOMA, WA) -- Tacoma Power will build Pierce County’s first community solar project early next year. Electric customers who want to invest in solar energy can register now at TacomaPower.com/CommunitySolar to buy solar units when they go on sale in early 2016.

Community solar, a more affordable way to invest in solar energy, does not require home ownership, a load-bearing roof or the high cost of installing solar panels.

Tacoma Power will build the 75-kilowatt project, and customers will fully fund it. Customers who buy solar units for $100 each will receive an annual Washington state solar production incentive payment, as well as payment for the electricity produced from the project. The expected payback period is about four years.

The state’s solar energy incentive ends in 2020, so building the project now will help customers take advantage of the incentive.

The community solar project adds to Tacoma Power’s already-extensive list of renewable energy; all of the power the utility produces is renewable hydropower. Nearly all of the power purchased from the Bonneville Power Administration is renewable as well.

The project will feature solar panels and inverters manufactured in Washington state.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Oregon Energy Department’s Chief Financial Officer Resigns amid Ongoing Problems with Incentive Programs (Oregonian, Portland)

Editorial: Don’t Let Protectionism over Solar Energy Kill Moses Lake Jobs (Spokesman Review, Spokane, WA)

Angler Nears $100K in Six Months of Pikeminnow Rewards (Spokesman Review, Spokane, WA)

Feds to Release Final Bull Trout Recovery Plan for Pacific Northwest States (Associated Press)

Oregon Farmers near Boardman Seek Lawmakers’ Help on Transmission Line (Wallowa County Chieftain, Enterprise, OR)