Friday, September 30, 2016

Columbia River System Operations EIS: Feds Asking Public to Weigh in on Breaching Snake River Dams (Spokesman Review, Spokane, WA)

Puget Sound Energy Goes to Court Again to Block Liquefied Natural Gas Plant Disclosures (News Tribune, Tacoma, WA – Paywall Advisory)

Record Number of Sockeye to Spawn in Lake Cle Elum (Yakima Herald Republic, WA)

Offshore Wind Farms See Promise in Platforms That Float (NY Times)

How to Email: An Etiquette Update – Brevity Is the Highest Virtue (Atlantic Magazine)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Montana Supreme Court Denies $1.4 Million Electricity Rate Increase for Northwestern Energy (KVGO Radio, Missoula, MT)

Utility Board Votes for Tacoma Funding of Click Network (News Tribune, Tacoma, WA – Paywall Advisory)

Lewis County Public Utility District Opposes Proposed Carbon Tax (The Chronicle, Centralia, WA)

Smallmouth Bass Invading Lower Deschutes River (Vancouver Columbian, WA)

Statewide Blackout in Australia Raises Questions Over Renewable Energy (Reuters)

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Penlight Celebrates Community Solar Project (Peninsula Light Company, Gig Harbor, WA)

(GIG HARBOR, WA) -- Peninsula Light Company CEO Jafar Taghavi thanked 60 Harbor Community Solar participants on Friday, Sept. 16, during a ceremony held at the Harbor History Museum.

About 100 PenLight members purchased at least one of 1,850 available units last year, when the electric cooperative sought participation. The 60-kilowatt array was installed last fall by A&R Solar of Seattle.

The project falls in line with Washington state’s renewable energy incentive program, which will provide each participant a check annually through 2020 based on the amount of energy produced by the system. The solar energy is used by the Harbor History Museum, which has seen about a 30 percent decrease in its electricity bills. The Harbor Community Solar project has been generating power since November 2015.

PenLight is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative. Since 1925, the utility has served the Gig Harbor and Key peninsulas and Fox Island in western Pierce County. PenLight, a “full requirements utility” of the Bonneville Power Administration, has grown to be the second largest cooperative in Washington state. It serves more than 32,000 meters with 977 miles of line in 112 square miles of service territory.

Judges Question ‘Generation Shifting,’ Congress’ Role in Clean Power Plan Hearing (Morning Consult)

Gas Utilities Go to Court Against State’s New Clean-Air Rule (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, WA)

Bonneville Power Administration Pilot Program Pursues Grid Congestion Solutions (Vancouver Columbian, WA)

Wyoming Rejects Tax on Wind Energy That Will Likely Be Sold in California (Los Angeles Times, CA)

Electric Car Tipping Point May Challenge Pioneers (Reuters)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Obama Climate Plan, Now in Court, May Hinge on Error in 1990 Law (NY Times)

PacifiCorp, KRRC Submit FERC Filings for Klamath Hydropower Project Removal (Renewable Energy World)

REC Silicon to Reduce Production by 50 Percent (Columbia Basin Herald, Moses Lake, WA)

U-S Not on Track to Meet 2025 Carbon Pollution Cutting Goal (Associated Press)

New Seattle Utilities Director Confirmed; Council Considers Increasing Pay Range To $334K (Seattle Times, WA – Paywall Advisory)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Bonneville Power Administration selects Janet Herrin as next chief operating officer (Bonneville Power Administration)

(PORTLAND, OR) – The Bonneville Power Administration has selected Janet Herrin as its next chief operating officer. Herrin will bring over 30 years of energy industry experience and leadership to BPA. She will replace Claudia Andrews, who is retiring from BPA this month after 26 years of federal service.

“I am very pleased to welcome Janet Herrin to BPA’s senior leadership team,” said Elliot Mainzer, BPA’s administrator. “I have worked closely with Janet over the past few years and have been very impressed with her character, industry knowledge and passion for operational excellence. With her deep understanding of public power, hydroelectricity and the competing demands of managing a public service organization, Janet is exceptionally well positioned to serve as BPA’s next chief operating officer. I look forward to working with her to further strengthen our culture and execute on our most important strategic objectives.”

Herrin, born in Seattle, will start after the beginning of the calendar year. As COO, Herrin will be responsible for Power Services; Transmission Services; Environment, Fish and Wildlife; Customer Support Services and Information Technology. She will also oversee the new Business Transformation Office and play a critical role in BPA’s heightened focus on disciplined program management and cost containment.

Herrin currently serves as a senior advisor to the secretary for the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. In this role, Herrin provides strategic counsel on rapidly changing industry issues and has worked closely with BPA, including on its development of a best-in-class human resources organization.

“I am a public power person – it’s where I like to be and what excites me,” said Herrin. “That passion for public power originally enticed me to join TVA, and then I ended up staying for a 35-year career because the work was so interesting. I am thrilled to be coming home to the Pacific Northwest and to work in public power once again.”

Herrin served as the chief administrative officer at the Tennessee Valley Authority. She led efforts to strengthen the safety culture; improve employee engagement; recruit and maintain a talented and diverse workforce; and implement successful cost-management efforts. Herrin also comes to BPA with valuable knowledge of hydropower from over 32 years of work on the 650-mile Tennessee River system that serves 9 million people, culminating in an 11-year tenure as TVA’s senior vice president of river operations and dam safety.

Herrin has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a Master of Science in civil engineering from Colorado State University and a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and physics from Willamette University. She was a registered professional engineer in Tennessee and plans to re-establish her engineering certification when she comes to BPA.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Officials Blame Puget Sound Energy for Greenwood Explosion That Injured Seattle Firefighters (Puget Sound Business Journal, WA)

Op/Ed: Washington State Carbon Tax Would Hit Working People Hard (Crosscut Seattle)

AT&T Uses Power Lines to Build High-Speed Wireless Broadband Networks (ZD Net News)

Mason County Garry Oaks Make the Cut – And Don’t Get Cut! “…BPA tree crews preserve unique Garry Oak trees during Shelton maintenance work…” (Mason PUD 3, Shelton, WA)

Marketers Rejoice: Twitter No Longer Counts Photos, GIFs, Videos Toward 140-Character Limit (AdWeek)

Monday, September 19, 2016

New State Carbon Rules to Be Felt in Clark County – WaferTech, G-P, Clark Public Utilities assessing impact (Vancouver Columbian, WA)

Solar Rooftop Revolution Fizzles in U-S on Utility Pushback (Bloomberg News)

Are California’s Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Markets Losing Power? (Sacramento Bee, CA)

Municipal Utilities Had Lowest Frequency, Duration of Outages in 2015 (American Public Power Association)

Dubious Washington State Voter-Turnout Claims in Heated Race for Secretary of State (Yakima Herald Republic, WA)

NWPPA announces 2016 Excellence in Communication recipients (Northwest Public Power Association)

(VANCOUVER, WA) -- This year, NWPPA received a record-breaking 204 entries from 37 different utility and association members. In comparison, NWPPA received 176 entries from the same amount of members last year.
“I am super excited that this was the year that everyone kicked it up and sent in the most entries ever in the history of this communication contest,” said 2016 NIC Chair Julee Cunningham of Snohomish County PUD in Everett, Wash. “I would like to personally thank the NWPPA members who participated – their participation is what makes this annual contest the highly regarded event that it has become.”
Categories are broken up into four groups: Group A utilities having the smallest number of customers and Group D having the largest. Nine local marketing and communication 2 of 5 professionals volunteered their time to judge the entries. A complete list of the first-, second-, and third-place winners can be found at the end of this release.
In addition to the Excellence in Communication awards, NWPPA presented the 2016 Tom Hougan Award for the best overall communication effort to Clearwater Power Company (Lewiston, Idaho). Clearwater received an impressive average of 45.4 points out of 50 possible, which includes their four first-place awards (Advertising Campaign, Special Publication, Internal Communication, and Wild Card), their second-place award (Photography), and their third-place award (Annual Report). Clearwater Power Company Marketing Communications Specialist Jeff Marshall accepted the award on the utility’s behalf at the banquet.
A fun new award that NWPPA also presented at the awards banquet was the inaugural People’s Choice Award in photography. Attendees viewed all of the photography submissions at Sunday night’s opening reception and voted on their one favorite photo. Pend Oreille PUD (Newport, Wash.) won the award with its photo of Dick Shaw in the field. The same photo also won a first-place Excellence in Communication award in photography in Category A earlier in the evening.
The 2017 Excellence in Communication awards will be presented on September 19, 2017, at the Embassy Suites in Sacramento, Calif.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Bonneville Power Administration Wins Awards for Recycling, Reducing, and Repurposing (Bonneville Power Administration)

BPA, Kertzman named AOR’s Recycler of the Year for repurposing 30-year-old cubicles

(PORTLAND, OR) -- The Bonneville Power Administration continues to be recognized for its sustainability efforts. The Environmental Protection Agency awarded BPA a 2016 Federal Green Challenge Award for recycling and reducing its paper use. And the Association of Oregon Recyclers recently named BPA and property disposal officer Kevin Kertzman its Recycler of the Year for finding a home for hundreds of 30-year-old office cubicles.

“Finding more sustainable and cost-effective ways to operate is just another way we’re being a responsible agency and a good neighbor in the Northwest communities we serve,” said John Hairston, BPA’s chief administrative officer.

Federal Green Challenge is a national effort that encourages federal agencies to lead by example in reducing their environmental impact in the areas of waste, energy, water, electronics, transportation and purchasing. In fiscal year 2015, BPA increased its recycling efforts by 71 percent through the recycling of 2,397 tons of metal, 312 tons of glass and ceramics, 167 tons of wood and 97 tons of e-waste. BPA also cut its paper purchases by 61 percent through a reduction of the number networked printers and the continued adoption of electronic documents and presentations. And it reduced the need for new purchases by returning $4.3 million worth of usable materials back into its inventory.

Notably, BPA diverted 80 tons of obsolete ceramic and glass insulators from the landfill to certified recycling centers in Portland, Oregon. Through its supply chain, it shipped the insulators from areas that didn’t offer glass and ceramic recycling to its Investment Recovery Center facility in Vancouver, Washington, which oversees the auction, transfer or recycling of surplus or obsolete equipment. BPA was also able to recycle copper wire from the insulators, which more than covered the glass and ceramic recycling fees.

“It was a win-win,” said Kevin Kertzman, property disposal officer. “Not only did we reduce our waste, but we were also able to reimburse BPA’s general fund, in turn crediting our electric ratepayers.”

In June, the Association of Oregon Recyclers named BPA and Kertzman its Recycler of the Year for finding a home for hundreds of 30-year-old office cubicles. After a remodel of BPA’s headquarters in Portland, Kertzman faced the task of disposing of the surplus workstations. Early on, due to the age and condition of the furniture there weren’t any takers. But after about a year of looking, and with storage costs piling up at about a thousand dollars a month, Kertzman learned that Providence Health & Services, a not-for-profit health and medical care organization, had offices throughout Washington and Oregon that needed that exact type of desks, panels and filing cabinets.

“It was a great outcome,” Kertzman said. “We were able to support an important local not-for-profit agency, while eliminating waste and protecting the environment.”

BPA has also partnered with the Oregon Department of Corrections to refurbish old, unwanted office furniture on more of a long-term basis. To date, BPA’s partnership with ODOC’s Reuse Center has saved thousands of pounds of materials from the landfill and scraps yards, and provided inmates meaningful work.

“This collaboration is a win all around,” said Chad Naugle, ODOC’s sustainability program manager. “It benefits the environment, uses intergovernmental resources, and provides vocational skills for adults in custody in recycling, repurposing and upcycling.”

Through its regional partnerships for placing and refurbishing outdated office furniture, BPA estimates it has diverted 40 to 50 tons of material from the landfill and scrap yard, and saved an estimated $35,000 in storage fees.

In the past five years, BPA has reduced its total energy use by 6.6 percent; saved nearly 30 million gallons of water; cut its fossil fuel use by 285,127 gallons; and diverted 12,498 tons of waste from landfills.

Last year, BPA received a Federal Green Challenge Regional Award for waste reduction. In 2014, BPA was recognized by the
Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency for outstanding efforts to improve air quality. In 2013, BPA was the first federal agency to be certified by the City of Portland’s Sustainability at Work program. And in 2012, BPA received the top award in the EPA’s Federal Electronics Challenge. For more about BPA’s accomplishments in protecting the environment, read its fifth annual sustainability report.

Audit Finds ‘Suspicious Behavior’ in Dozens of Energy Projects That Got Oregon Tax Credits (Oregonian, Portland)

Ellensburg City Council Approves Buying Power on Wholesale Market (Ellensburg Daily Record, WA)

Pend Oreille County Smelter Plan Raises Power Issue – PUD’s industrial electricity demands still in question (Spokane Journal of Business, WA)

Jerry Brown Presses Case for Expanding California’s Power Grid (Sacramento Bee, CA)

Facebook Data Centers’ Tax Breaks Under Scrutiny in New Mexico, Utah (Oregonian, Portland)

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Washington State Regulators OK Pacific Power Rate Hike (Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, WA)

Cloud Computing Brings Big Centers, But Few Jobs to Small Towns (SF Chronicle)

Pole Attachment Reform Passes in Nashville to AT&T’s Dismay (Broadband Reports)

Washington State’s Carbon Tax Initiative Looks Like a Nail-Biter (Crosscut Seattle)

Struggles Continue for Belfair Sewer (Kitsap Sun, Bremerton, WA – Paywall Advisory)

August Was Warmer, Wetter Than Average (KELA Radio, Centralia, WA)

(CENTRALIA, WA) -- August was warmer and a little wetter than average in the Twin Cities. For the month, KELA/KMNT weatherman Dean Dahlin says we had 66 degrees, which is 3 and a half degrees above average, and we wound up with 1.42 inches of rain which is two-tenths of an inch above normal. Dean says it starts to cool down in September with an average of 58.7 degrees and just a shade over two inches of rainfall for the month.