Thursday, January 29, 2015

Proposed Klickitat PUD Pumped Storage Hydro Project Holds Meetings - Five-year plan to build hydroelectric project could bring new jobs (Goldendale Sentinel, WA)

Washington State Fishery Managers Set Smelt, Spring Chinook Seasons (Longview Daily News, WA)



Now That Growing Pot Is Legal, Can It Also Be More Energy Efficient? (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Washington‐Made Solar Products Power Award-Winning Bainbridge Island Development (Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal, WA)

Survey: Trust Is Key to Utility-Customer Relationship (Utility Dive)

Energy Smart Industrial: Five Years of Enormous Savings - Program has saved industries more than 647 million kWh of electricity (Bonneville Power Administration)

(PORTLAND, OR) -- The Bonneville Power Administration’s Energy Smart Industrial program is helping companies better manage their energy use and reduce costs. Since 2009, BPA and Northwest publicly owned electric utilities have partnered with 473 industrial companies on projects that have collectively saved more than 647 million kilowatt-hours of electricity — enough energy to power nearly 60,000 homes for a year.

In the first five years of the program, 111 publicly owned electric utilities in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming have helped industrial end-users complete over 735 capital projects in a variety of market segments, including food processing, pulp and paper, wood products, advanced technology, water/wastewater and mining. A recent examination revealed that the annual energy savings from completed capital projects increased by 300 percent on average.

“With better modulation, drying and pressure control, we’re so much more efficient,” says Scott Noble, manufacturing management associate for Boise Cascade. “And we’ve seen significant savings as a result.”

“Energy Smart Industrial is making Northwest industrial companies more efficient and competitive,” says Richard Génecé, vice president of Energy Efficiency at BPA. “The success of ESI is a credit to the work of our utility customers and ESI staff, as well as to industrial companies embracing energy efficiency across the region.”

BPA and Northwest publicly owned electric utilities have helped 473 industrial companies save enough energy to power nearly 60,000 homes for a year.
ESI provides a suite of energy management options that BPA’s utility customers can offer to the industrial companies they serve. In order to meet the broad range of needs, technologies and facility sizes, the program features five components, many of which don’t require a large, up-front investment: Energy Project Manager co-funding; Track and Tune Projects; High Performance Energy Management cohorts; Refrigerator Operator Coaching; and Small Industrial High Performance Energy Management. Since every facility is unique, the BPA program provides an engineer as a technical resource and point of contact for the customer and utility to ensure each project is defined, developed and managed successfully.

“With BPA providing incentives and technical expertise, we’re helping our industrial customers, big and small, achieve significant energy savings,” says Larry Blaufus, industrial accounts manager with Clark Public Utilities in Vancouver, Wash.

In 2010, Clark enrolled a non-woven fabrics plant in Washougal, Wash. Through energy efficiency measures and upgrades to chillers, air compressors and lighting, Fitesa Washougal Inc. cut its energy use by about 19 percent, or 2.5 million kWh a year.

JD Hisey, the plant’s continuous improvement manager, says Energy Smart Industrial did more than just cut Fitesa’s energy costs. “The new equipment reduced our maintenance, repair and downtime costs,” Hisey says.

For energy-efficiency help at its plywood plant in Elgin, Ore., Boise Cascade, the second-largest softwood plywood manufacturer in North America, turned to Oregon Trail Electric Consumers Cooperative, a BPA customer utility in Baker City. After ESI-upgrades to its air-compressor system, Boise Cascade is saving about $24,000 a year in its energy bills.

The BPA program is now focusing on smaller industries in rural areas and water treatment and wastewater facilities. Also, since lighting upgrades have accounted for nearly 25 percent of the program’s historical savings, ESI will continue to explore new lighting technologies and controls. And soon, BPA plans to develop a “Superior Energy Performance” pilot for industrial facilities.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Record High Temperatures Sunday across Western Washington State (KOMO-TV, Seattle, WA)

After Two-Year Fight, Tacoma Releases Records Confirming Huge Fee Hikes by Broadcasters (News Tribune, Tacoma, WA - Paywall Advisory)

Worry for Solar Projects after End of Tax Credits (NY Times)

Jefferson County Commissioners Anticipate Large, Active Turnout for Pot Business Moratorium Hearing Today (Peninsula Daily News, Port Angeles, WA)

California: Pacific Gas & Electric Fined $530,000 by Regulator for Safety Violations (Sacramento Business Journal, CA)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Lena Wittler named Clark Public Utilities Director of Communications (Washington PUD Association, Olympia, WA)

(VANCOUVER, WA) -- In recognition of the importance of communications to the success of the utility across all departments, Clark Public Utilities General Manager Wayne Nelson has named Lena Wittler the Director of Communications for Clark Public Utilities.

As head of this new department, Lena will continue to lead utility public affairs and will oversee her team managing corporate and employee communication, media and marketing, community involvement and education, online and social platforms, and utility research.

In her 16 years of service to Clark Public Utilities, Ms. Wittler has served as the customer communications manager and most recently as the senior manager of communications. She holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Portland and a Bachelor’s degree in communication from Willamette University.

Oregon Fishery Officials Hatch Desperate Measures - Compromised Leaburg Dam stresses two local hatcheries (Eugene Register-Guard, OR)

In Win for SolarWorld, Trade Commission Affirms Tariffs on Chinese, Taiwanese Solar Products (Oregonian, Portland)

Pacific Power’s $1.8 Million Looks to Bolster Northwest Solar Projects “…PacifiCorp depends on coal for 60.37% of its total energy load. Gas accounts for 12%…” (Portland Business Journal, OR)

A Tiny Oregon City Has Already Built Its Own Gigabit Internet (Portland Business Journal, OR)

Activists Turn Out in Olympia as Lawmakers Weigh Medical Marijuana (Associated Press)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

NuScale Targets 2016 to Apply for NRC Approval for Its Nuclear Power System (Portland Business Journal, OR)

U-S Senate Says Climate Change Is ‘Real,’ Won’t Admit Humans Cause It (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, WA)

Will 'Carbon Capture' Technology Boost Demand for Longview's Coal Project? (Longview Daily News, WA)

Commercial Fishermen Unhappy with Columbia River Reforms (Vancouver Columbian, WA)

Energy Efficiency Is Biggest Housing Concern in New Residential Survey (Utility Dive)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Energy Northwest Says Proposed Changes to NPDES Permit for Nuclear Plant Could Cost It More Than $20 Million (American Public Power Association)

Oregon: Pacific Power States Case for Lawsuit against City of Klamath Falls (Klamath Falls Herald & News, OR)

Snohomish County Pot Farms Next Door a ‘Complete Shock’ to Neighbors (KING-TV, Seattle, WA)

U-S Solar Industry Sees Growth, But Also Some Uncertainty (National Public Radio)

Montana Broadband Ranked Among Worst in the United States (Ravalli Republic, MT)



Friday, January 16, 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Switchboard: Obama Urges End of State Laws Limiting Municipal Broadband (Washington Post)

Washington State Gov. Inslee Says Fund Education, Transportation, Clean Energy (Associated Press)

JD Power: Electric Utilities Achieve Highest Level of Business Customer Satisfaction since 2009 (Yahoo! Finance)

Turning Waste into Energy in Oregon: City of Gresham Wastewater Treatment Plant (Renewable Energy World)

Marijuana Listening Tour: Oregon Liquor Control Commission Announces Two Stops in Eastern Oregon (Oregonian, Portland)

Public Power Council Elects Officers &And Board Members for 2015-2016 (Public Power Council)

(PORTLAND) -- At its monthly members’ meeting on January 8, 2015, the Executive Committee of the Public Power Council elected officers for the 2015-2016 term.  Elected by unanimous decision were:

Mark Johnson, Flathead Electric Cooperative, as Chairman

Dan Peterson, Pend Oreille PUD as Vice Chair, Administration and Budget

Matt Michel, Lane Electric Cooperative, as Vice Chair, Long Range Planning

Jim Smith, Klickitat PUD, as Vice Chair, Allocation/Rates/Contracts

Debra Smith, Central Lincoln PUD, as Vice Chair, Fish and Wildlife


PPC Executive Director Scott Corwin said, “PPC is very fortunate to have Chairman Johnson and these Vice Chairs at the helm.  The Northwest public power community will be very well-served by the expertise and leadership of our newly elected officers.”

“I am excited to serve as the Executive Committee Chairman,” said incoming Chairman, Mark Johnson.  “I look forward to working with the Committee, other member utilities, and the PPC staff to handle the many issues facing public power over the next two years.”


At its Annual Meeting of Members on December 11, 2014, the Public Power Council announced the newly elected Board Members who will serve a two year term beginning January 2015.  Elected to the 21 member board for the 2015-2016 term are: 

Steve Boorman, City of Bonners Ferry
Ed Brost, Franklin County PUD
Jorge Carrasco, Seattle City Light
Ted Coates, Tacoma Public Utilities
John Gerstenberger, Hood River Electric Coop.   
Roger Gray, Eugene Water & Electric Board
Tom Hutchinson, Clearwater Power
Mark Johnson, Flathead Electric Coop.
Steve Klein, Snohomish County PUD
Pat McGary, Clark Public Utilities
Don McMaster, Cowlitz PUD
Matt Michel, Lane Electric Cooperative
Fred Mitchell, Clallam County PUD
Joe Noland, City of Cheney
Kevin Nordt, Grant County PUD
Dan Peterson, Pend Oreille County PUD
Debra Smith, Central Lincoln PUD
Jim Smith, Klickitat County PUD
Les Teel, Columbia Rural Electric Assn.
Chuck Thurman, Monmouth Power & Light
Dave Ward, Grays Harbor PUD

“PPC, and the entire region, is fortunate to have the leadership of these impressive utility managers and directors who offer enormous amounts of time and knowledge for the benefit of electricity consumers in the Northwest,” said Scott Corwin, Executive Director of PPC.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

California: Public Utilities Commission Email Scandal Widens to Involve Southern Cal Edison, San Onofre Closure (Utility Dive)

Free Wi-Fi now available in downtown Bainbridge Island – Kitsap PUD Partnership (Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal, WA)

One More Try: A Renewed Push to Pass Klamath Agreements (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

How Four Brands (and Bob Newhart) Made the Most of College Football’s First Playoff Championship (AdWeek)

Washington State Senate Republicans Bring Back Eyman-Style “Super Majority” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Monday, January 12, 2015

2015 Legislative Session: Washington State Lawmakers Face Tough Tasks (Vancouver Columbian, WA)

Yakima Basin Snowpack Levels About Half of Normal (Yakima Herald Republic, WA)

Oil-Terminal Decision: How Green Is Our Governor? - Jay Inslee, champion of action on climate change, must decide whether to approve the nation’s largest oil-by-rail terminal (Vancouver Columbian, WA)

Oregon: Lincoln County Moving to Gather Wind Energy Data – Could Lead to Coastal Wind Farm (News Lincoln County, Newport, OR)

Garbage Incinerators Make Comeback, Kindling Both Garbage & Debate (NY Times)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Judge Gives Okay for Snake River Dredging to Proceed (Northwest Public Radio)

After Repairs, Grant PUD Reopens Most of Wanapum Dam Shoreline (Columbia Basin Herald, Moses Lake, WA)

Massachusetts: Tom May, Northeast Utilities Happy to Get Out of Cape Wind “Clean energy…isn’t cheaper energy.” (Boston Globe, MA)

For States That Don’t File Carbon-Cutting Plans, EPA Will Impose ‘Model Rule’ (NY Times)

NoaNet & Wahkiakum West’s Fiber Optics Project Offers Big Internet Speed Gains (Chinook Observer, Long Beach, WA)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Energy Northwest’s Columbia Generating Station Sets New Production Record (Tri-City Herald, WA)

Carbon Free Electricity – Mason PUD 3, Public Power at the Top of the Heap (Mason PUD 3, Shelton, WA)

Corps of Engineers to Begin Dredging Snake River Next Week (Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, WA)

Massachusetts: Two Utilities Opt Out of Cape Wind - Future of Nantucket Sound turbine project in doubt as purchase contracts are terminated (Boston Globe, MA)

Chart of the Week: Breakdown of Energy Use at a Commercial Cannabis Cultivation Site (Marijuana Business Daily)

Friday, January 2, 2015