Monthly Archives: December 2011

Congress Commits $59 Million to Hydropower Research and Development

By Staff
Power Engineering Magazine

A bill that would significantly increase hydropower spending in the 2012 Fiscal Year has gained congressional and presidential approval.

The bill, which combines nine spending bills and has gained bipartisan support, provides US$59 million for the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Water Power Research and Development Program. Of that, $25 million would be earmarked for marine and hydrokinetic research, development and demonstration; $25 million would go to conventional hydropower; and the remainder would be used to develop infrastructure projects. Read More

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Governor weighs changes to Wash. clean-energy law

By Associated Press
Wenatchee World

SEATTLE (AP) — Large utilities in Washington state will soon have to get at least part of their power from new renewable sources like wind and solar. But with a voter-mandated 2012 deadline looming, Gov. Chris Gregoire is weighing a package of changes that could expand the definition of what clean energy is. Read More

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Wind, hydro operations create balancing act for regulators

By Becky Kramer
Spokesman Review

One of the conundrums of wind energy is that the wind doesn’t blow constantly. In the Northwest, most wind farms operate at about 30 percent capacity, which means backup electrical generation is needed.

The Northwest’s extensive network of hydropower dams helps balance fluctuations in wind output, said Tom Karier, Washington representative on the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. Dam operators can adjust hydro output in response to shifting wind production. Read More

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Wind generators win in dispute with BPA

By Associated Press
The Wenatchee World

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Federal regulators on Wednesday ruled in favor of Northwest wind power generators who objected to being ordered to shut down at times this spring when the Columbia River basin was brimming with water and hydropower dams were running at maximum capacity. Read More

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