Friday, April 29, 2016

Clark PUD Opposes Carbon Tax Plan – Initiative 732 wouldn’t reduce emissions, would cost utility & its customers millions, commissioner says (Vancouver Columbian, WA)

There Will Only Be One Carbon Tax on the Fall Ballot, But the Climate Schism Remains (Seattle Weekly)

Washington State, Tribes Again Call Off Talks on Puget Sound Salmon Fisheries (KMAS Radio, Shelton, WA)

Tacoma Utility Hunting for Old Pipes That Could Be Elevating Lead Levels in Water (KCPQ-TV, Seattle, WA)

Army Corps Decides Kennewick Man Should Be Turned over to Tribes (Northwest Public Radio)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Efficiency Exchange Conference Highlights Energy Efficiency Innovations and Trends (Bonneville Power Administration)

Pacific Northwest connects on the latest energy efficiency programs and strategies

(COEUR d’ALENE, ID) – The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), in partnership with the Northwest Power and Conservation Council and utilities throughout the Northwest, are hosting the fourth annual Efficiency Exchange conference. 

The region-wide event focuses on promoting technical innovation and new ideas in utility energy efficiency programs. This year’s event will be at the Coeur d’Alene Conference Center in Idaho on April 26-27, with tours on April 28. 

“This is the biggest utility energy efficiency event in the Northwest,” said Richard Génecé, vice president of Energy Efficiency for BPA. “It’s where utilities, implementers, contractors and policy-makers share ideas, best practices and strategies so that we can continue to drive the Northwest’s energy efficiency powerhouse.”

Attendees will build new relationships, gain a better understanding of emerging trends in the industry, and learn about new products, programs and practices to consider in their own organizations.

This year’s conference kicks off with a general session on energy efficiency in the Seventh Power Plan, which the Council adopted in February.  The plan concludes that energy efficiency is the key to meeting our region’s future demand for electricity. 

“The Council’s analysis found that energy efficiency can meet all of the Northwest’s anticipated load growth through 2035,” Council Chair Henry Lorenzen said. “It also provides a significant contribution to the region’s newly identified need for capacity resources which can help meet spikes in system demand. The Council is pleased to help sponsor the 2016 Energy Efficiency Exchange and to continue work with BPA, NEEA and other regional partners to promote this important resource.” 

In addition to this topic, experts from around the Northwest will present on a range of issues, such as electric vehicle infrastructure, lighting and new methods of driving energy efficiency through data and behavior.

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 tours of the Fighting Creek Landfill Gas Project, Rohinni Lighting, and the Post Falls Hydroelectric Development, among other sites.

“The Northwest has been an established leader in collaborating on energy efficiency for the last two decades,” 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. Together, we are shaping our energy future.” 

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.

Crash Near Shelton High School Causes Power Outage, School Delays (KMAS Radio, Shelton, WA)

Six Tacoma Schools Now Reporting Lead in Drinking Water (KIRO Broadcasting, Seattle, WA)

Most Tribes Hit the Brakes on Marijuana; a Few Move Ahead – Including the Squaxin Tribe (Marijuana Business Daily)

Partner in Beaverton Solar Project Declares Bankruptcy (Oregonian, Portland)

Intel to Close Steilacoom Site amid Layoffs – Mayor Confirms He’s Been Informed of Closure (KOIN-TV, Portland, OR)

Monday, April 25, 2016

Western Washington Water Providers React to Tacoma Finding Some High Lead Levels (News Tribune, Tacoma, WA - Paywall Advisory)

House Panel Asked to Shine Light on PMA Costs – A little information about the shrouded costs of fish & wildlife programs would go a long way (Electric Co-op Today)

Tesla Unveils Pricing Details for Powerpack System (Utility Dive)

Some Businesses Face 20-30 Percent Decline if Puget Sound Salmon Fishing Closes for Summer (Olympian - Paywall Advisory)

Benton PUD’s Prosser Solar Project Ceremony Planned April 26 (Tri-City Herald, WA)

Demand Response Demonstration Project Concludes with High Success Rate, National Award (Bonneville Power Administration)

(RICHLAND, WA) – Energy Northwest, its public utility partners, City of Richland, Cowlitz County Public Utility District, Pend Oreille County PUD together with the Bonneville Power Administration, successfully concluded an aggregated demand response demonstration project.

“The success of this pilot demonstrates the reliability and potential value of demand response to the region and our public power members,” said EN CEO Mark Reddemann. “This technology furthers our mission to provide regional ratepayers responsible energy solutions.”

Conceptually, demand response builds on the idea that while individual electrical loads are relatively small compared to the scale of a regional transmission grid, the coordinated decrease or increase of many loads at once may serve as a cost-effective alternative to building or purchasing the output of additional electric generating stations or transmission infrastructure, resulting in overall cost savings for Northwest ratepayers. During the trial project, participants successfully reduced energy usage in nearly 80 separate events.

For BPA, growing demands on the federal hydropower system, along with the increase of wind and other intermittent renewable generation in the region, has increased demand on BPA’s finite ability to provide balancing reserves to meet industry reliability standards.

“This was a groundbreaking project for demand response as a flexible, reliable resource that can support the federal power system," said Mark Gendron, BPA’s senior vice president for Power Services. “Energy Northwest has been a tremendous partner and its infrastructure as a DR aggregator has proven out.”

This month, the Peak Load Management Alliance, a national community of experts and practitioners who advance demand response, recognized the demonstration project as one of the nation’s best demand response programs, initiatives and achievements from 2015.

BPA and EN placed a pilot-scale 18-megawatt demand response resource in service last February. Pend Oreille County PUD and its customer Ponderay Newsprint Company joined in April, bringing the resource to its fully-subscribed 35-megawatt capacity.

During each test event, BPA, using AutoGrid’s Demand Response Optimization and Management System platform, sent a signal to EN’s Demand Response Aggregated Control System, which forwarded the signal to participants, such as Cowlitz County PUD, which serves North Pacific Paper Corporation, a large pulp and paper manufacturing facility in Longview, Wash.

After receiving the signal, each participant reduced electric power usage. To be considered a successful event, the load change had to be completed within 10 minutes and sustained for a given period of time. EN’s aggregated control system collected detailed metering information from each asset and reported total capacity response, or electricity use reduction, to BPA. At the end of an event, DRACS sent a terminating signal for the asset to resume normal operations. DRACS is hosted within Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Electricity Infrastructure Operations Center, a U.S. Department of Energy-funded incubator facility built and operated for such roles.

Energy Northwest and its public utility partners continue to look for diverse electric loads from customers willing and able to reduce their electric demand on short notice. The participating public utilities that provide the customer loads for ongoing demand response resources are expected to include utility participants in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

Energy Northwest and BPA will continue to evaluate the results from this project and, potentially, identify opportunities for further use of the pilot resources.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Nations Ink Historic Paris Climate Deal (British Broadcasting Corporation)

Corps of Engineers Resumes Columbia River Cormorant Removal (Longview Daily News, WA)

Seattle Public Utilities Asks Residents to Run Water Amid Lead Concerns (KING-TV, Seattle, WA)

Hot Weather Leads to Transmission Emergency at Ice Harbor Dam – Reduces Spill for Juvenile Fish (Columbia Basin Bulletin)

The US Used Less Energy in 2015 with Less Waste, New Report Shows (Utility Dive)

Lowland Lakes Fishing Season Starts Saturday (KELA Radio, Centralia, WA)

(CENTRALIA, WA) – Saturday is the opening day of lowland lakes fishing season in Washington. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has stocked hundreds of lakes across the state with millions of fish for the opener.  The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is encouraging people to observe boating safety laws when on the water. The Sheriff’s Office will be conducting boating safety checks and enforcement on waterways in Lewis County and will be patrolling areas near lakes where people will be fishing.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Senate Just Passed – Overwhelmingly – An Actually Bipartisan Energy Bill (Washington Post)

Arizona Utility Executive Calls for More Transparency in Rate-Setting “…require power marketing administrations to include costs associated with fish & wildlife conservation regulations on monthly electric bills to wholesale consumers…” (Arizona Public Broadcasting)

Chinook Salmon, Flounder Added to Overfishing List (Associated Press)

Bonneville Power Administration Expecting Normal Water Year Operations (Bonneville Power Administration)

San Francisco Now Requires Solar Panels on New Buildings (San Francisco Business Times)

Clatskanie PUD’s Marcum & Welter receive 2016 Safety Heroism Award (Northwest Public Power Association)

(VANCOUVER, WA) -- Last week, Clatskanie PUD Line Working Foreman Lonnie Marcum and Journeyman Lineman Darin Welter received the Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA) Safety Heroism Award at the association’s 2016 Engineering & Operations Conference on April 14, 2016, in Spokane, Wash.

Marcum was on hand to accept the award at on behalf of himself and his co-worker.

During a flooding event on December 9, 2015, Marcum and Welter were flagged down by a local resident on Hwy 30 in Clatskanie, Ore. They were informed that someone was out in the flood waters and had been yelling for help. 

The linemen quickly drove up Lost Creek Road as far as possible until the water stopped them. They couldn’t see anyone or a car in the water, but they could hear Richard Forrest yelling for help and they began to talk to him.
The linemen waded out in the water and could then see Forrest clinging to a tree. They continued out into the deep water where they were up to their necks and treading water to stay afloat themselves as they tried to get closer. Using rescue techniques from their safety trainings, they made several attempts to get a rope to Forrest so that they could get him out of the water. After a few throws of the rope, they connected and were able to safely pull him to the shallow water. The linemen helped him out of the water and to the care of emergency responders from the Clatskanie Fire Department who had just arrived on the scene.

Although they were able to save Mr. Forrest from the flood water, Marcum and Welter were saddened that they couldn’t reach Mrs. Forrest as she was trapped in the car under 10 to 12 feet of water at the time.

Benton PUD’s Steve Frost receives 2016 Career Commitment to Safety Award (Northwest Public Power Association)

(VANCOUVER, WA) -- The Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA) and its Engineering & Operations (E&O) Conference Planning Committee awarded Benton PUD Utility Safety Coordinator Steve Frost with the association’s Career Commitment to Safety Award at last week’s 2016 Engineering & Operations Conference on April 12, 2016, in Spokane, Wash. E&O Safety Committee Chair Lance Hughes presented the award to Frost before the opening general session.

Frost’s commitment to safety began during his time (1982-2000) as a lineman and instructor at Montana Power Company where he focused on safety. From there, he worked for Electrical Safety Consultants International (ESCI) as a safety coordinator. At ESCI, he was responsible for performing safety services for several utilities in Central Washington, including Benton PUD. He was later hired directly by Benton PUD to focus on utility safety for these organizations.

New Centralia College President (KELA Radio, Centralia, WA)

(CENTRALIA, WA) -- Bob Mohrbacher will be the new president of Centralia College. He was the unanimous choice of the college’s Board of Trustees at its meeting Wednesday night. According to The Chronicle, Mohrbacher accepted the offer via speaker phone during the Board meeting. Mohrbacher is currently the vice president of instruction and student services at Big Bend Community College. He was one of three finalists for the job and will begin his role at Centralia College on July 1.The search for a new president for college began after the termination of Robert Frost in December of last year. He had served in the role since July 1, 2014.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Spokane Tribe Will Study Salmon Habitat above Grand Coulee Dam (Spokesman Review, Spokane, WA)

Merger Done, Pepco Seeks Ten Percent Rate Increase from Maryland Customers “…”This has absolutely nothing to do with the merger…” (Washington Post)

Idaho: Public Meetings This Week on Gateway West Transmission Lines Project (Public News Service)

New Data: Americans Are Abandoning Wired Home Internet (Washington Post)

Why some businesses are switching to LED lighting (Portland Business Journal, OR)

Monday, April 18, 2016

Friday, April 15, 2016

Nuclear Developer Details Timeline for Trailblazing Reactor Debut in Idaho (Northwest Public Radio)

Northwest Power & Conservation Council Approves More Than $550K in Cost-Savings from FW Projects; Money Goes To Emerging Priorities (Columbia Basin Bulletin)

Modernizing Dams: Lower Monumental Has Turbine Removed for Repairs First Time in 20 Years (Columbia Basin Bulletin)

Is the Future of Solar Bright in Oregon? (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Umatilla County Commissioners Uphold Wind Farm Recommendation (East Oregonian, Pendleton, OR)

City of Centralia: Engineering Support Services Contract for Proposed Substation (KELA Radio, Centralia, WA)

(CENTRALIA, WA) -- The Centralia City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved an $822,000 contract with Electric Power Systems Inc. for engineering support services for Centralia City Light related to the proposed new Salzer substation and other City Light needs. City Light Director M.L. Norton says currently they have only one substation located on the east side of I-5 and the city’s downtown core with city hall, several schools and the majority of the city’s population are located there. He says the proposed Salzer substation would provide a backup in providing electricity to those areas.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Officials Poised to Sign Klamath River Dam Agreements (Associated Press)

Washington State Governor Vetoes KapStone-Backed Bill to Broaden Definition of Renewable Energy (Longview Daily News, WA)

Report: California Customers May Face 14 Days of Blackouts from Low Natural Gas Supplies (Utility Dive)

Tribal Hatchery Officials Concerned by Wild Fish Conservancy’ Columbia River Lawsuit (Yakima Herald-Republic, WA)

Peter Goldmark, Washington State Lands Commissioner, Won’t Seek Re-Election (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, WA)