Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Warm Winter, Cold Reality for Portland General Electric Bottom Line (Portland Business Journal, OR)

Jefferson County: A Tussle over PUD Privilege Taxes – Fire District Wants PUD Tax Money County Kept (Port Townsend Leader, WA)

An Active Oregon Volcano Could House a New Renewable Energy Lab (Portland Business Journal, OR)

Twitter Trading Halted after Shares Plunge on Leaked Earnings (SF Chronicle)

Brinnon Man Dies after Collision at East Anthony Road Intersection North of Shelton (KBKW Radio, Aberdeen, WA)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Simpson Lumber Selling Mason County Mills to Sierra Pacific (Mason Web TV, Shelton, WA)

Wind Turbines Being Considered for Lewis County (Wind Watch)

CAISO to FERC: Energy Imbalance Market Problems Found, Reforms Coming “…failure to recognize capacity held by PacifiCorp led to apparent shortages & subsequent price spikes…” (Utility Dive)

Amid Concerns, Portland Pledges to Help Building Owners Meet Energy Reporting Standards (Portland Business Journal, OR)

Makah Tribe’s Request to Hunt Whales under Public Scrutiny in Seattle (KIRO Broadcasting, Seattle, WA)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Western Drought Steals Clean Energy Along with Fresh Water at Power Plants (Washington Post)

Power Needs of Marijuana: Industry’s Use of Electricity Sparks Concerns (The Daily Astorian, OR)

Responding to De-List Petition, NOAA Fisheries Announces Status Review for Snake River Fall Chinook (Columbia Basin Bulletin)

Audit: Hanford Failed To Take Advantage of Energy Incentive Payments (Tri-City Herald, WA)

Nevada’s Lake Mead on Track to Reach Record Low Water Level amid Drought (Reuters)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Let’s Talk Incremental Hydro: McNary Dam Hits the Rewind “…The new stators contain about 35 percent more copper, which will lift the capacity of each generator to 100 megawatts from its historic 84.7 MW after turbine upgrades…” (Bonneville Power Administration)

Tacoma’s Rainier Connect Makes Bid for Click (News Tribune, Tacoma, WA - Paywall Advisory)

Comcast Abandons $45 Billion Time Warner Cable Merger (Reuters)

Pacific Northwest, New England: Energy Efficiency Progress – A Tale of Two Regions (The Energy Collective)

Oregon Pilots Contend Proposed Troutdale Energy Plant Poses Safety Risk (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Bonneville Power Administration & EnerNOC Will Test Demand Response for Non-Wires & Peak Load Shaving (Bonneville Power Administration)

Project tied to I-5 Corridor Reinforcement and managing peak load during extreme cold events

(PORTLAND, OR) -- The Bonneville Power Administration is looking to learn more about the potential for demand response to help it manage transmission congestion during summer heat waves and shave peak energy demand during cold snaps. This is the first non-wires measure BPA will test in association with its I-5 Corridor Reinforcement Project, which it is considering building.
BPA has selected EnerNOC to serve as its commercial aggregator, which means EnerNOC will be responsible for working through Northwest utilities to find commercial participants that are willing to decrease energy consumption when sent an electronic signal.

“This is another important step in our efforts to find flexible capacity from outside the hydro system to deliver value to our customers,” said BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer. “This project is about using innovative technology to help BPA manage infrastructure costs and energy consumption to preserve system reliability.”

The demand response activities EnerNOC will implement include a summer initiative to manage transmission congestion and flows in the same area the I-5 Corridor Reinforcement project is focused, and a winter initiative to shave peak energy usage during extreme cold snaps.

Summer Non-Wires Relief
North to south energy flows into the Portland/Vancouver metropolitan area during the summer can approach system operation limits and create the potential for blackouts. In January 2011, BPA commissioned a non-wires screening study that listed demand response as one of several non-wires measures that could help manage transmission congestion in advance of constructing the I-5 Corridor Reinforcement project.

BPA currently projects that it will need the I-5 Corridor Reinforcement in 2021. Under the current project schedule, BPA expects to decide whether or not to build the line in 2016. If BPA determines it could not build the line in time to meet the electrical need, non-wires measures such as this one would be necessary until the project could be built.

“We know non-wires measures cannot replace the need for the I-5 Corridor Reinforcement project,” said Mark Korsness, BPA Transmission Service project manager. “We also know non-wires measures are a valuable tool we may need to employ until we can complete the project if we decide to build it. It is important to test these measures well in advance of the need, and our team has done a good job pulling this demonstration together.”

EnerNOC will enlist the participation of large energy consumers that could lower their energy use within 10 minutes of receiving an electronic signal initiated by BPA. The reduction would be available up to four hours during hours of peak energy use up to five consecutive days. EnerNOC is aiming to enlist enough participants to reduce up to 20 megawatts of energy use in summer 2015 and up to 25 megawatts in summer 2016.

Winter Peak Relief
The Federal Columbia River Power System can be stretched to its limit during certain periods. BPA and its federal partners that own and operate the dams need flexibility for the many important purposes the dams serve, which include fish passage and variable energy integration.

“Demand response provides us a great opportunity to help ourselves and our customers,” said Mark Gendron, senior vice president of BPA Power Services. “Testing tools that provide potential system flexibility and save our ratepayers money benefits us all.”

EnerNOC will enlist the participation of customers that could lower their energy use within 20 minutes of receiving a signal to do so. The reduction would be available for up to two three-hour periods up to three consecutive days. EnerNOC will begin the winter demonstration in December 2015 seeking up to 13 megawatts of relief in the first year and 25 megawatts in the second year.

Going Forward
BPA continues to explore various demand response tools to defer the need for transmission projects, balance variable energy resources, relieve transmission congestion and meet other needs. Demand response is one of several areas in which BPA’s Technology Innovation office is funding pilot projects.

BPA’s current power contracts include a “demand charge” its public utility customers incur when their aggregate energy consumption exceeds a predetermined level. The charge sends a price signal to customers and encourages the use of tools such as demand response to shave peak energy use. These types of initiatives can be useful to our customers as they search for ways to manage their loads and minimize their demand charge.

More information on demand response and other BPA energy efficiency efforts is available on the BPA website.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Failed Insulator Causes Four-Hour Power Outage Monday in Several Jefferson County Communities (Peninsula Daily News, Port Angeles, WA)

New California Proposal: Use Less Electricity, Pay More (SF Chronicle)

SolarCity Raises $1 Billion, Will Steer Businesses toward Solar (SF Chronicle)

Northwest Pool Slows Imbalance Market Progress (Argus Media)

Earth Day’s Importance & Evolution since 1970 (Huffington Post)

Cowlitz River fishery and hatchery program meeting (KELA Radio, Centralia, WA)

(CENTRALIA, WA) -- There will be a public meeting about Cowlitz River fisheries and hatchery programs Thursday night at 6 PM in the Walton Science Center at Centralia College. Tacoma Power, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and theCowlitz Fisheries Technical Committee will host the meeting where people can learn about the Fisheries & Hatchery Management Plan Annual Project Review process, review the hatchery production plan for the Cowlitz River and have an opportunity to provide input.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Quadrennial Energy Review – Major Changes Needed for U-S Power Infrastructure, Says Obama Report (Washington Post)

Lawsuit Filed to Stop Shooting of Salmon-Munching Cormorants in Columbia River Estuary (Oregonian, Portland)

No U-S Protection for Sage Grouse Population (Associated Press)

Montague Wind Project: Iberdrola Seeks Oregon Wind Delay (Renews)

Better Be Mobile-Ready – Google Is About to Dramatically Change How Search Works on Your Phone (Washington Post)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Governor Expands Drought Emergency to Include More of Mason County & More of Washington State (Mason Web TV, Shelton, WA)

Report: Oregon, Washington Solar Markets Will Boom This Year (Utility Dive)

West Side Story: California & Energy Northwest Lead $8.7B Week (The Bond Buyer)

Washington State Governor Paves Way for Doctors to Ramp Up Telemedicine Use (Puget Sound Business Journal, WA)

Pot’s Holy Day Brings New Attention to Legalization Debate (Sacramento Bee, CA)

Efficiency Exchange Highlights Energy Efficiency Innovations & Trends (Bonneville Power Administration)

Northwest electric power industry connects on the latest energy efficiency programs and strategies

(PORTLAND, OR) -- The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), in partnership with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and electric utilities throughout the Northwest, are hosting the third annual Efficiency Exchange conference in Portland, April 21-23. The region-wide event focuses on promoting innovation and new ideas in utility energy efficiency programs. BPA and NEEA are producing and sponsoring the event, with support from the Northwest Power and Conservation Council.

“This is the pre-eminent utility energy efficiency forum in the Northwest,” said Richard Génecé, vice president of Energy Efficiency for the Bonneville Power Administration. “It’s an opportunity for utilities, implementers and contractors to exchange ideas and best practices, and it continues our region’s legacy of leadership in energy efficiency.”

Attendees will build new relationships, better understand emerging trends in the industry, and gain knowledge from the conference for their own organizations.

“Energy efficiency is now the second-largest source of power in the Northwest, and we anticipate the importance of efficiency will continue to grow as reducing carbon emissions grows in importance as a public policy goal,” said Pat Smith, a Montana member of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council and chair of the Council’s Power Committee. “We are pleased to support this event and to work with Bonneville, NEEA and our other partners to discuss and strategize on ways to improve energy efficiency in the region.”

Jeremiah Owyang is the keynote speaker at this year’s conference. Owyang is the founder of Crowd Companies, which advises businesses on tapping into the collaborative economy. He will discuss the latest trends and research in this new sharing movement, as well as how utilities can thrive in a world where customers, technology and energy are intersecting in disruptive ways.

Attendees will also get an insider’s look at how energy efficient technologies are tested, refined and applied to a number of local industries. The final day of the conference includes on-site tours of Widmer Brothers’ energy efficient brewery and a lunch-and-learn meeting with the Northwest Power and Conservation Council.

Other sessions will cover energy efficiency technologies and trends such as the Internet of Things, combination water/space heating, and paths to deeper savings in commercial buildings and lighting.

“The Northwest is an established leader in energy efficiency,” said NEEA’s executive director, Susan E. Stratton. “Efficiency Exchange brings together thought leaders and program experts to share new ideas and insights that benefit the whole region.”

Between sessions, attendees can visit the Conduit Lounge and register, post and share information on Conduit, an online community that facilitates collaboration and coordination among energy efficiency professionals in the Northwest.

View the full agenda of the conference at

About the Bonneville Power Administration 
The Bonneville Power Administration, headquartered in Portland, Ore., is a nonprofit federal power marketing agency under the U.S. Department of Energy that sells wholesale renewable hydropower from federal dams in the Columbia Basin and one nuclear plant to more than 140 Northwest utilities. BPA operates a high-voltage transmission grid comprising more than 15,000 circuit miles of lines and associated substations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana with more than 480 customers. It funds one of the largest wildlife protection and restoration programs in the world, and, with its partners, pursues cost-effective energy savings in all sectors of the economy. BPA also pursues breakthroughs that can increase efficiencies, solve operational challenges and reduce costs — all of which help maintain affordable, reliable electric power for the Northwest and lessen impacts to the environment.

About the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance is an alliance of more than 140 utilities and energy efficiency organizations working on behalf of more than 13 million energy consumers. NEEA is dedicated to accelerating both electric and gas energy efficiency, leveraging its regional partnerships to advance the adoption of energy-efficient products, services and practices.

Since 1997, NEEA and its partners have saved enough energy to power more than 700,000 homes each year. As the second-largest resource in the Northwest, energy efficiency can offset most of our new demand for energy, saving money and keeping the Northwest a healthy and vibrant place to live.

About the Northwest Power and Conservation Council
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council is an agency of the four Northwest states of Idaho, Oregon, Montana, and Washington. Under the Northwest Power Act of 1980, the Council develops a Northwest Power Plan to assure the region an adequate, efficient, economical, and reliable power supply while protecting, mitigating and enhancing fish and wildlife that have been affected by the construction and operation of hydropower dams in the Columbia River Basin. Through the power plan the Council sets strategies and establishes targets for energy efficiency in the region, and through the Regional Technical Forum (, the Council and other forum partners work to verify that efficiency measures implemented by utilities produce real savings.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Public Power Council Applauds Congressional Call for Columbia River Treaty Negotiations (Public Power Council, Portland, OR)

(PORTLAND, OR) -- Executive Director of PPC, Scott Corwin, made the following comments regarding the letter sent April 14, 2015 by the members of Congress from the states of Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho calling for action by the Obama Administration on the Columbia River Treaty.

 “We commend the Northwest Congressional delegation for making a strong and unified statement that the Administration should act on renegotiating this Treaty, and should lay out the specific steps and timeline for doing so.”

“It has been 16 months since citizens in the region, with the Bonneville Power Administration and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, agreed on a path forward.  It is time for the Administration to get moving.”

“Until the outdated aspects of the Treaty are corrected, consumers in the Northwest will continue to send a hugely imbalanced amount of our clean hydropower north to Canada.  It’s time to start the real negotiations to fix this.”

“This letter shows that our representatives in Congress understand the importance of this Treaty to Northwest citizens and are working to make sure the Administration takes action.”

That Canadian Energy - Can Imported Hydropower Be Used for Meeting EPA Greenhouse Gas Rules? (Politico Morning Energy)

(WASHINGTON, DC) -- Quebec's energy minister Pierre Arcand made the rounds with Obama administration officials yesterday pushing for the EPA to allow states to take into account imports of Canadian renewable energy - see: Quebec-based hydropower - in complying with the agency's proposed greenhouse gas controls for power plants.

"Our message was very simple: Here in North America, we are at what we call the epicenter of energy where we have gas, we have green electricity coming from Quebec...we are fighting climate change," Arcand told ME, between meeting with Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Angus King. "We can provide solutions to many U.S. states and the U.S. states can provide solutions for us," he added, noting Quebec could start importing shale gas from the U.S. instead of Alberta in the next five years.

"It's much closer. It's much more good for us to have that," he said. Arcand also met with FERC Chairwoman Cheryl LaFleur, the Energy Department's Jonathan Pershing and officials at the White House and State Department. "In all of those exchanges I think that what we need is a better understanding and more win-win situation," Arcand said.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Friday, April 10, 2015

Hail, Mountain Snow Expected as Cold Front Blows across Western Washington State (KIRO Broadcasting, Seattle, WA)

Restless Crowd Wants Tacoma to Keep Control of City’s Click Broadband Network (News Tribune, Tacoma, WA - Paywall Advisory)

British Columbia Energy Minister Optimistic Peace River Dam Construction Will Begin in Summer (Globe & Mail, Canada)

Washington State Governor Says Carbon Cap Still in Play, Polling Says... (PublicCola)

Pacific Sardine Industry Shutdown Looms as Species Collapses (Oregonian, Portland)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

San Bruno: Pacific Gas & Electric Hit with Record Penalty of $1.6 Billion for Fatal Explosion (San Jose Mercury News, CA)

Spill for Fish Passage Begins Friday at Columbia River Dams (Vancouver Columbian, WA)

Electric Co-Ops – Nespelem Valley Electric, Inland Power & Light – To Study Merger Idea (Star of the Grand Coulee, WA)

Ellensburg: Proposed Solar Farm Public Hearing Set for Thursday (Ellensburg Daily Record, WA)

Olympic Peninsula on the List: Drought Committee Adds to List of Areas at Risk for Water Shortages (Washington State Department of Ecology)

Lewis County PUD Proposes Rate Increase (KELA Radio, Centralia, WA)

(CHEHALIS, WA) -- Lewis County PUD held the first of two public hearings on a proposed rate increase on Tuesday.  If the increase is approved, an average home using 1,400 kilowatt hours a month would see a monthly increase of about $8 beginning June 1.  PUD officials say a projected BPA increase in power and transmission rates effective October 1 and a projected reduction in surplus sales revenues due to declining wholesale power prices are contributing factors to the proposed rate increase.  Another public hearing on the proposed rate increase will be held next Tuesday at Lewis County PUD’s regular board meeting in Chehalis.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Apple Plans ‘Major, Major Expansion’ of Oregon Data Center (Oregonian, Portland)

Feds to Consider Endangered Species Listing for Spotted Owl (Associated Press)

Power Surge Knocks Out Electrical Service in Parts of Washington, D-C Region (Washington Post)

Tight Puget Sound Housing Market Creating ‘Buyer Anxiety’ (KING-TV, Seattle, WA)

Op/Ed: Russ Skolrood – I-937’s “One-Size Fits All” Model an Ill Fit for Grays Harbor (Aberdeen Daily World, WA)

Monday, April 6, 2015

Friday, April 3, 2015

Follow Up File: Five Bonneville Power Officials Lost Their Positions over Veteran-Hiring Scandal (Washington Post)

Schweitzer Labs Puts ‘Game-Changing’ Battery Power to Test in Pullman (Spokesman Review, Spokane, WA)

Video: No Mountain Snow in the Pacific Northwest Could Hurt Fish, Shipping, Recreation (KGW-TV, Portland, OR)

More Bad News for British Columbia’s Wild Sockeye – Pink salmon populations augmented by hatchery programs hurt sockeye returns, study finds (Victoria Times Colonist, BC)

The Northwest Struggles with Coal-Generated Power from Out of State (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Bonneville Power Administration Selects Final Path for Its Hooper Springs Transmission Project (Bonneville Power Administration)

(PORTLAND, OR) -- The Bonneville Power Administration has decided to build a 24-mile, 115-kilovolt transmission line and substation in southeastern Idaho so it can continue to provide stable and reliable transmission service in southeastern Idaho and northwestern Wyoming.

For the past nine years, BPA has worked with elected officials, local landowners, interest groups, cooperating agencies and other interested stakeholders to reach this decision.

“We thank everyone who has provided input that led to this decision,” said Richard Shaheen, senior vice president of BPA Transmission Services. “On balance, we believe the selected option achieves the objective of minimizing impacts to the environment while maintaining electric reliability in the area.”

BPA has selected the South Alternative’s Option 3A, as it is referred to in the project’s final environmental impact statement. This option, selected over the North and South alternatives and their options, will have fewer transmission structures and less miles of new access road construction. Option 3A has an estimated cost of $65 million, which is $9 million less than the North Alternative and about the same cost as the other build options.

BPA will spend the balance of 2015 acquiring land rights to construct the new transmission line and substation. It expects to start substation, transmission line and access road construction in spring 2016.

“We look forward to working with individual landowners as we begin to plan construction activities,” said BPA project manager Erich Orth. “Our goal of having the least amount of impact to landowners and property still remains the same.”

Additional information about the decision is available on the BPA website.

Portland Nuclear Firm Hits another Small Module Milestone (Portland Business Journal, OR)

Governor Issues Mandatory Water Cuts as California Snowpack Hits Record Low (Sacramento Bee, CA)

Embattled Washington State Auditor Responds to Questions from Governor (Northwest Public Radio)

Editorial: Proposal to Lease Click Merits Serious Consideration (News Tribune, Tacoma, WA - Paywall Advisory)

Including “Incremental Hydro”: House Committee Advances Three Senator Brown Bills (Tri-City Herald, WA)