Thanks to Eastern Washington’s cheap and renewable hydroelectricity, Moses Lake will have “the largest carbon-fiber plant on earth,” a German auto executive leading the project said Friday.
By: Dominic Gates
The Seattle Times
MOSES LAKE — By early next year, drawn by the cheap and renewable hydroelectricity of Eastern Washington, this state will have “the largest carbon-fiber plant on Earth,” a German executive leading the project said Friday.
Amid the dirt fields outside this modest farming town, where a stiff wind blows tumbleweeds across the highway, a gleaming $200 million factory already makes the carbon-fiber threads that become the tough carbon composite shell of BMW’s i-series electric and hybrid cars.
An additional $100 million investment announced Friday, coupled with an earlier expansion now nearly complete, will triple the plant’s annual capacity to 9,000 tons of carbon fiber. Read More
By Kate Prengaman
From earlier snow melts to more wildfires, the Yakima River Basin is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, according to a new national report released Tuesday by the Obama administration.
The report, the third U.S. National Climate Assessment, emphasizes that communities across the country are already experiencing some effects of climate change, from intense storms to devastating droughts. The administration hopes the report, written by more than 250 scientists, will spur action to cut carbon dioxide emissions and adapt to already changing conditions.
In the Northwest, scientists say basins such as the Yakima Basin are the most vulnerable to future water supply problems. That’s because the basin is already over-allocated and the current system is highly dependent on winter snow to meet summer demands. Read more
The quiet shuttering of an ambitious Oregon project — the nation’s first grid-connected, commercial-scale wave park — is the latest setback for the nascent wave-energy sector in the United States.
By: Joshua Hunt and Diane Cardwell
The New York Times
PORTLAND — At the Port of Portland sits a 260-ton buoy filled with technology that can turn the movement of the ocean into electricity to power 100 homes. It rolled off an assembly line to great fanfare two years ago and received the nation’s first commercial license to operate.
It was to be the start of the closely watched follow-up to a failed attempt in the 1990s to harness the power of the Pacific Ocean, in which one of the first test-buoy generators quickly sank.
But this time around, the buoy did not even get that chance.
Its maker, Ocean Power Technologies, quietly abandoned the project last month without ever deploying its machine off the coast.
Despite receiving at least $8.7 million in federal and state grants, Ocean Power told regulators that it could not raise enough money to cover higher-than-expected costs and would instead pursue a similar project in Australia, backed by a $62 million commitment from that country’s government. Read more