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ENERGY: So much for investing in going ‘green’

Letter by Leonard T. Barrett, Puyallup on March 2, 2011 at 4:14 pm with 12 Comments »
March 2, 2011 4:14 pm

Some of you may recall that you voted for the “renewable” power generation initiative. It required that a portion of all new power sources be “renewable,” and stated that hydroelectric was not to be considered “renewable.”

As a result, some of your local power companies have invested millions of dollars to meet these new requirements. You have not yet started to see the bills for this.

Not taken into consideration was Bonneville Power Administration which might have other ideas. BPA has a pending rule that would require that all wind farms be shut down during periods of high water in the Columbia River. Read about it here.

So much for the private investment in wind generators so that the region could become more “green.” One local utility is one of a group of utilities that invested $230 million in a wind farm in Eastern Washington. That company’s share was $50 million – for 30,000 customers.

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Leave a comment Comments → 12
  1. hortonpeak says:

    And your point?

  2. I read the entire story from the link and I repeat hortonpeak’s question: and your point?
    The problem is transmission line capacity and direction. When one can shut the coal fired plant for two or three months one is making progress. The high water problem can be resolved in favor of the wind generators once transmission lines are upgraded to serve customers who might be using coal or gas fired plant electricity. We need to be sure that those plants do not stand in the way.

  3. nwcolorist says:

    From a general reading of the NY Times article, it sounds like a convoluted mess.

    The Times article states, “The wind generators could lost as much as $50 million per year under worst-case conditions of excess generation and limited transmission capacity to export power out of the region.”

    That means that the system is running inefficiently, and investors are losing money. That’s a serious issue.

  4. You are wrong about the timeline for seeing the increase in your power bills. I for one has seen a significant increase in my power charges,from last year to this year.Eventially I feel that a lot of people will be forced to find a less expensive place to live than Washington State.

  5. ItalianSpring says:

    Here’s his point:

    As a result, some of your local power companies have invested millions of dollars to meet these new requirements. You have not yet started to see the bills for this.

    Duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  6. donjames says:

    Publico says:

    “When one can shut the coal fired plant for two or three months one is making progress.”

    “Progress”? You mean progressivism, LOL.

    Ahh the cavalier attitude with which your average green-colored-glasses liberal can simply dismiss the livelihood of employees and businesses – in a bad economy, no less – that contradict an idealistic view of their world. Such compassion.

    “The high water problem can be resolved in favor of the wind generators once transmission lines are upgraded to serve customers who might be using coal or gas fired plant electricity.”

    Uhmm… did you not say that your read the linked article? Because if you had read beyond the fifth paragraph (of the two-page piece), you might have caught the following:

    BPA says in those circumstances, it would have to curtail wind generation or increase water flows over hydro dam spillways, bypassing dam generators. But excessive flows over spillways can raise nitrogen levels in the water below the dams, violating federal regulations that protect salmon and other fish species.

    You see, the real problem is environmental. Of course, your solution would be to break the dams, right? No matter, as it stands now, all of the transmission lines in the world will not change BPA’s policy.

    “We need to be sure that those plants do not stand in the way.”

    I’ll bet you do. Trouble is, adding unsightly, undependable, and inefficient 16th century technology to the landscape of the Columbia River Valley will never accomplish your dream. Rather, at great and further expense to rate-payers, wind generators will likely prove themselves a colossal boondoggle which, dollar-for-dollar, will never come close hydro electric and nuclear generation.

  7. nwcolorist says that “investors are losing money. The utilities that I mention in my letter are all public or member owned – as in NO OUTSIDE INVESTORS, only customers. There is only one (1) investor owned utility in our state. Get a clue.
    Neither wind power, solar power or any of the current “green” generators will ever provide what the economy needs to survive. The only real alternative power source is nuclear. Try to get that in place during anyone’s lifetime. It will never happen.

  8. witchiwoman says:

    Well, the way I see it is if the wind generators are producing that much electricity, then the BPA is losing money. Hence their desire to shut down the wind generators. Now if the BPA “owned” the wind generators, I bet they would have no problem with them at all.

    I read the entire article as well.

  9. donjames says:

    witchi, I think you need to take the time to read the article that the letter writer linked (it’s from the new york times… it’s okay for you). You’re blaming the wrong acronym here – BPA instead of EPA (only one letter off).

    Now if the EPA “owned” the wind generators, I bet they would have no problem with them at all.

    Fixed for ‘ya.

    HTH

  10. As I see it,every time you mail a letter or take a ride on Amrak you are adding to the Feds deficit.I agree with the premise that Going Green is a bunch of hype.The real losers in this boondogel are the rate payers,and if you hadn’t noticed,that means YOU and ME!

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