Thursday, July 21, 2016

BPA Names Mizumori Cathcart VP of Transmission System Operations (Bonneville Power Administration)

July 21, 2016

(PORTLAND, OR) – The Bonneville Power Administration has selected Michelle Mizumori Cathcart to be its vice president of Transmission System Operations. She will begin her new position Aug. 8.

“Michelle is a results-driven leader with impressive electric power industry experience and academic credentials,” said Richard Shaheen, senior vice president for Transmission Services. “She’s a great addition to the BPA transmission team, as well as an outstanding talent to oversee the operations of Bonneville’s transmission system and tackle all of the complexities of delivering electric power today.”

As leader of BPA’s Transmission System Operations organization, Mizumori Cathcart will oversee the safe, reliable and open access operation and dispatch of BPA’s high-voltage transmission system and interconnected generation. The group also operates and manages BPA’s two regional control centers and represents the agency on operations and other coordination issues with the Northwest Power Pool, California Independent System Operator, PacifiCorp and other balancing authorities and system operators. She succeeds Randi Thomas, who has led the organization since 2006 and is retiring this summer.

“I am thrilled to join BPA and lead a team of professionals dedicated to Bonneville’s mission of delivering reliable power and services to the customers and communities we serve,” Mizumori Cathcart said.

Most recently, Mizumori Cathcart served as the director of strategy and organizational performance at Peak Reliability, a reliability coordinator that provides situational awareness and real-time monitoring of the bulk electric systems of 14 western states, British Columbia, and the northern portion of Baja California, Mexico. Before assuming that role, she oversaw Peak’s real-time operations and training as the director of operations.

Prior to arriving at Peak, Mizumori Cathcart served as the managing director of operations and market interface at the Western Electricity Coordinating Council, a regional entity responsible for compliance monitoring of bulk electric system reliability in the Western Interconnection. She spent the early part of her career at Madison Gas and Electric Company where she led the Wisconsin utility’s participation in the Midwest Independent System Operator and the Midwest Contingency Reserve Sharing Group, and was responsible for purchased power agreements and operator training.

Mizumori Cathcart has a doctorate of Philosophy in Geography and Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, a master’s of Business Administration from Washington State University and a bachelor’s of Science in Engineering from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Chelan PUD Commissioners Approve New High Density Load Electric Rate – Will Affect Bitcoin Miners (KPQ Radio, Wenatchee, WA)

For Utility Customer Satisfaction, J-D Power Says Communication, Control Are Key – Customers are happiest when their utility engages before there's a problem, a new survey shows (Utility Dive)

Wind Gives Port of Vancouver a Lift – Renewal of tax incentives boosts import of parts bound for projects throughout U-S (Vancouver Columbian, WA)

Kittitas County Solar Farm Draws Concerns from Neighbors (Ellensburg Daily Record, WA)

Study Says Drawing Down Lower Granite Reservoir during Summer Could Help Fish (Spokesman Review, Spokane, WA)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Group Starts Fast in Opposition to Proposed Washington State Carbon Rule (KIRO Broadcasting, Seattle, WA)

Business Group Emerges to Back Vancouver, WA Oil Terminal (Portland Business Journal, OR)

Cascade Natural Gas Facing Possible $4M Penalty for Pipeline Safety Violations (KNDO/KNDU-TV, Tri Cities, WA)

Biologists Keep Watchful Eye on Sockeye Migration (Twin Falls Times News, ID)

New York’s LED Streetlights: A Crime Deterrent to Some, a Nuisance to Others (NY Times)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Friday, July 8, 2016

Five Police Killed, Seven Cops Injured, Fourth Suspect Dead after Dallas Attack (Associated Press)

Portland General Electric’s Boardman Natural Gas-Fired Power Plant $100M over Budget (KGW-TV, Portland, OR)

Idaho Power to Seek Review of $35.2M Investment in Energy Efficiency, Demand Response Programs (Utility Dive)

Kate Brown to Lawmakers: Repeal of Oregon’s Low-Carbon Fuels Law Is Off Limits in Transportation Talks (Oregonian, Portland)

Las Vegas Goes Solar: Good News for Some, Bad for Others (Christian Science Monitor)

Ding! Round One in WOTUS Court Fight Begins (Politico)

By Eric Wolff

The court battle over the Obama administration's contentious Waters of the U.S. rule kicks off today when plaintiffs make their case to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals about what documents should be admitted in the trial. The administrative record may sound like a bureaucratic backwater, but in a case that's heavily weighted with Administrative Procedures Act claims, documents showing how the agencies made key decisions about the rule could be hugely influential.

One set of documents likely to come up in plaintiffs' brief: internal memos from a top Army Corps general to an Obama-appointed policy boss raising concerns about changes made in the final version of the rule and arguing his agency was cut out of the process. The memos argue that the rule, also called the Clean Water Rule, would shrink federal jurisdiction rather than expand it - as state and industry groups argue - but raise process issues that could have their desired effect of overturning the rule.

But will the fight stay in the 6th? Even as they're off and running before the 6th Circuit, plaintiffs are still making their case that the challenges should first go through district court. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is weighing an appeal from Georgia and 10 other states of a lower court's rejection of their preliminary injunction request, is slated to hear arguments today on whether it should take up the case. Meanwhile, Oklahoma's attorney general has filed his own appeal on the same issue after a district court dismissed his challenge to the rule.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Fire at Moses lake REC Silicon Plant Will Impact Third Quarter Production (Columbia Basin Herald, Moses Lake, WA)

Sockeye Fishing Opens, Salmon Limits Raised In Columbia above Priest Rapids Dam (Spokesman Review, Spokane, WA)

California: State Electric Grid Expansion Would Add Coal-Heavy Utility (Los Angeles Times, CA)

This New Facebook Device Aims to Bring Internet to the Ends of the Earth (Washington Post)

Grays Harbor County Commissioners Take Heat after Public Services BBQ (Aberdeen Daily World, WA)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Grays Harbor PUD Commission Opposes Carbon Tax Initiative (KBKW Radio, Aberdeen, WA)

Claim from Imperial Irrigation District – Another California Electricity Crisis Ahead? (Courthouse News Service)

California Dreaming: Utilities Uneasy with Regulator’s Vision to Remake Their Business Model (Utility Dive)

July in the Pacific Northwest Will Be Wet, Cool in the Wake of El Nino (KIRO Broadcasting, Seattle, WA)

Buyers Should Be Wary of Houses That Are Marketed as Energy-Efficient (Washington Post)