Monthly Archives: June 2013

Global renewable energy growing fast

By Jonathan Fahey
Associated Press

NEW YORK — Renewable energy is growing fast around the world and will edge out natural gas as the second- biggest source of electricity, after coal, by 2016, according to a five-year outlook published Wednesday by the International Energy Agency.

Developing countries are building more wind, solar and hydro-electric power plants to meet rising power demand and combat local pollution problems. And the costs of renewables are falling below the cost of traditional power sources such as coal, natural gas and oil in some markets with high-priced power.

Renewable power, including hydropower, is the fastest-growing power generation sector and it is expected to increase by 40 percent in the next five years. By 2018 it will make up a quarter of the world’s energy mix, according to the report, up from 20 percent in 2011. Read more

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Colville Confederated Tribes opens $51 million Washington fish hatchery

By Associated Press
Yakima Herald Republic

BRIDGEPORT, Wash. — A new fish hatchery that will release nearly 3 million salmon to the wild each year is set to be dedicated today in rural north-central Washington, marking the opening of the first hatchery designed and built under new scientific recommendations intended to boost fish survival rates in the Pacific Northwest.

The $51 million hatchery near Chief Joseph Dam will help to rebuild naturally occurring spawning salmon runs in areas where they were damaged by the construction and operation of Columbia River hydropower dams and allow for the reintroduction of one species — spring chinook — in the Okanogan River, where they were extirpated decades ago.

In turn, the hatchery will boost opportunities for salmon harvests for members of the Colville Confederated Tribes, who retain fishing rights in the region but have seen the supply of fish dwindle with construction of the dams, and for sport fishing. Read more

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Klamath Tribes and federal government put out historic call for water rights in drought-stricken Klamath Basin

By Scott Learn
The Oregonian

The Klamath Tribes and the federal government called their water rights in southern Oregon’s Klamath Basin for the first time Monday, likely cutting off irrigation water to hundreds of cattle ranchers and farmers in the upper basin this summer.

The historic calls come after Oregon set water rights priorities earlier this year in the basin, home to one of the nation’s most persistent water wars. Drought has cut water flows in upper basin rivers to 40 percent of normal.

“This is a devastating day,” said Becky Hyde, a longtime cattle rancher in the upper basin’s Sprague River Valley. “This is such a core piece of our economy. It’s not like we can lean back on tourism and things can be OK.”  Read more

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PGE projects mean 100s of construction jobs in Boardman, Dayton

By Annette Cary
Tri-City Herald

Boardman — Up to 800 construction jobs could be generated by two new power projects planned in Boardman and Dayton by Portland General Electric Co.

PGE has announced plans for a 440-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant near Boardman costing up to $455 million. Up to 500 construction jobs, most of them union, will be created and 20 full-time positions will be available when the plant is operating, according to PGE.

PGE also plans to take over the second phase of the Lower Snake River wind farm near Dayton, currently under development by Puget Sound Energy. Plans call for 116 wind turbines, with an overall project cost of up to $535 million. About 300 construction jobs will be created and 18 full-time operating positions, according to PGE. Read more

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Oregon must reduce carbon emissions 48 percent by 2030

By: Gosia Wozniacka
The Associated Press – The Register Guard

PORTLAND — Oregon must slash its carbon dioxide emissions from power plants nearly in half by 2030 under federal requirements the Obama administration has proposed to curb global warming.

The state Department of Environmental Quality will be in charge of drawing plans to meet the goal. The initiative gives each state flexibility in how to reduce carbon emissions by 2030.

About half a dozen power plants in Oregon would be affected by the requirements, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Read more

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Portland General Electric plans $1 billion investment in gas plant and wind farm

By Ted Sickinger
The Oregonian

Portland General Electric Co. on Monday announced the front end of a massive capital investment program, unveiling its plan to invest nearly $1 billion in a new gas fired power plant in Central Oregon and a new wind farm in Southeastern Washington. The new resources come on top of a $300 million gas plant the company is building in Clatskanie.

The company also said it had reached a tentative agreement — though no price was attached — to buy up to 1,500 megawatts in transmission capacity from Bonneville Power Administration. That deal would replace PGE’s plan to build its own transmission line across the Cascades, a project that carried a price tag up to $1.2 billion.

Demand for electricity is growing slowly in the Northwest, and the region’s grand plan is meet most demand growth in the next two decades with energy efficiency and conservation measures. Read more

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