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Alternative Energy

Oregon confident of meeting president’s carbon goals

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — State officials and utilities say Oregon is in good shape to meet the lower carbon emissions goals for power plants set by President Obama’s new plan for combating climate change.

Date: 08/03/2015 | Northwest

A bill for parks and much more

The odds that Congress will reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund before it is scheduled to expire Sept. 30 improved...

Date: 07/28/2015 | Editorials

Bidder cries foul on PUD turbine contract

EVERETT — A hydroelectric systems company near Bellingham says the Snohomish County Public Utility District improperly skewed its bid to build two turbines, which tipped the contract to a British competitor.

Date: 07/21/2015 | Local News

Flying climate-friendly skies

Viewpoints: Can technology cut airliners' carbon emissions?

Date: 06/28/2015 | Commentary

Home efficiency upgrades fall short, don’t pay, study finds

NEW YORK — Home efficiency measures such as installing new windows or replacing insulation deliver such a small fraction of their promised energy savings that they may not save any money over the long run, according to the surprising conclusion of

Date: 06/24/2015 | Business Wire

More reasons to limit carbon

The justifications for taking real and effective steps to slow climate change and limit the amount of carbon and other greenhouse gases we pump into the atmosphere continue to mount.Recent studies and events now add to the warnings and recommendations about the threat to our...

Date: 06/24/2015 | Editorials

Renewable energy outpaces fossil fuel

STOCKHOLM — The growth of renewable energy outpaced that of fossil fuels in the electricity sector last year, with a record 135 gigawatts of capacity added from wind, solar, hydropower and other natural sources, a new study shows.

Date: 06/17/2015 | Nation & World

Appearances matter to public

Deserved or not, government agencies and officials aren't always afforded a high degree of trust by the public, which is why it's important that they avoid the mere appearance of any conflict of interest.Tuesday's release of

Date: 06/04/2015 | Editorials

Solar-powered plane begins China-Hawaii flight

BEIJING — It took longer than expected to find the right weather, but a Swiss pilot is now airborne attempting something never attempted before — flying a plane across the Pacific with no fuel, only solar power.

Date: 05/30/2015 | Business Wire

Oregon senator requests radar update to clear way for wind energy

PENDLETON, Ore. — U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden is asking officials to update Air Force radar in Fossil because the current system is outdated and preventing the generation of nearly 4,000 megawatts of wind energy across eastern Oregon and Washington.

Date: 05/29/2015 | Northwest

Oregon State pulls sponsorship of solar vehicle project

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Oregon State University is pulling its institutional support for an on-board solar panel vehicle program that they say is losing industry interest.

Date: 05/26/2015 | Northwest

No-bid PUD clean-energy project attracts state scrutiny

OLYMPIA — Officials of the state Department of Commerce answered questions Thursday from state Senate committee members concerned about how public money was used in a clean-energy project that’s the subject of an ethics...

Date: 05/21/2015 | Local News

Obama’s not denying climate change, just ignoring it

Here are two facts that cannot be reconciled: The planet has experienced the warmest January-through-March on record, and the Obama administration has authorized massive new oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean."Climate change can no longer be denied ... and action can no...

Date: 05/19/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Whistle blown on no-bid contracts

It's a good thing we have whistle-blowers. Without them, without their courage to speak up, the public can be left with decisions and situations that range from questionable to out-right damaging and dangerous.One celebrated whistleblower was Charles Hamel, who moved to...

Date: 05/08/2015 | Editorials

PUD clean-energy contract on hold amid ethics probe

EVERETT — A new $3.8 million contract for a clean-energy project is on hold because of the ethics investigation at the Snohomish County Public Utility District.The PUD's commissioners decided...

Date: 05/06/2015 | Local News

Snohomish County PUD to be investigated for ethics violations

EVERETT — The Snohomish County Public Utility District’s board of commissioners has hired an independent investigator to look into allegations that the utility improperly awarded contracts worth millions of dollars to a clean-energy consultant.

Date: 05/03/2015 | Local News

Take carbon reduction plan to the public

When he introduced in November the report of a 21-member citizens panel recommending strategies for reducing carbon pollution, Gov. Jay Inslee expressed hope...

Date: 04/22/2015 | Editorials

Green power goes to war in NATO test

BERLIN — Green energy is going to war.Starting in June, defense companies including Thales and Multicon Solar will join NATO to test the military's ability to use renewable power in combat.About 1,000 North Atlantic Treaty Organization soldiers will spend...

Date: 04/12/2015 | Nation & World

In Republican Utah, Obama pushes for solar

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — President Barack Obama sought to gain support for his economic agenda in this heavily Republican state Friday as he launched a new initiative to expand the nation’s solar industry workforce.

Date: 04/04/2015 | Nation & World

Pullman project testing huge batteries to store energy

PULLMAN — If Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories’ manufacturing plant loses power during an outage, the company can turn to huge batteries on its campus for electricity.The batteries could supply enough power to run most of the factory’s operations for about three hours.

Date: 04/03/2015 | Northwest

Plans dropped for big wind farm in north-central Oregon

BEND, Ore. (AP) [--] State regulators say plans for a big wind farm in north-central Oregon have been scrapped.

Date: 03/27/2015 | Northwest

Tax proposals won't eclipse growth of solar

On the average sunny day, Germany’s huge energy grid gets 40 percent of its power from the sun. Guess what happened one recent morning when the sun went into eclipse. Nothing.

Date: 03/25/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Huge solar plane lands in Myanmar

YANGON, Myanmar — A solar-powered plane landed in Myanmar on Thursday night, the latest leg of a round-the-world trip aimed at highlighting clean energy.Dozens of trees had to be cleared ahead of the Solar Impulse 2's arrival at the Mandalay International Airport for...

Date: 03/20/2015 | Nation & World

Senate bill a path for carbon reduction

Republican-backed legislation in the Senate meant to require the state's utilities to reduce carbon emissions is worthy of praise. It's just too bad those backing the legislation couldn't show more confidence in why they proposed it in the first place.

Date: 03/12/2015 | Editorials

Senate OKs bill giving utilities option on renewable energy

OLYMPIA — A bill that would give large electric utilities an alternative way to comply with a state law requiring more energy from renewable sources passed the Washington Senate on Monday night after a protracted fight over whether climate change is real and if humans contribute to it.

Date: 03/09/2015 | Northwest

Columbia Gorge wind farms could store power in reservoir

GOLDENDALE — A small utility plans a $2.5 billion water reservoir system near Goldendale as a way to store energy generated by Columbia River Gorge wind farms.

Date: 02/17/2015 | Northwest

Proposal tries to help wean Washington off coal-fired power

SEATTLE — Lawmakers hoping to wean Washington state off coal power are trying to ease the way for the state’s utilities to end the electricity it gets from coal.

Date: 02/14/2015 | Northwest

Adopt low-carbon fuel limits

Following the lead of California and directed by Gov. Jay Inslee, the state Department of Ecology is slowly moving forward with a proposed rule that would require a reduction in the carbon emissions resulting from...

Date: 02/06/2015 | Editorials

First draft of clean-fuels rule; senators offer own plan

SEATTLE — Washington state is inching toward a requirement to reduce carbon pollution from fuels for cars and trucks with a proposal released Wednesday.

Date: 02/05/2015 | Northwest

California landfill taps methane for power

IRVINE, Calif. — Southern California officials have broken ground on a project that will power nearly 20,000 homes with electricity generated from methane produced by rotting garbage.

Date: 01/23/2015 | Business Wire

Feds: ‘Glitch-prone’ nuclear waste treatment plant passes test in Idaho

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — A glitch-prone treatment facility in eastern Idaho has successfully completed a major test in which radioactive liquid waste was converted to solid form, federal officials say.

Date: 01/20/2015 | Northwest

Powered up

PUD touts merits of huge battery at Everett substation

Date: 01/16/2015 | Local News

Tesla Roadster now gets 400 miles per charge

Car nerds, you just got an extra present under the tree.Elon Musk has confirmed an upgrade for the Tesla Roadster, the electric car company's convertible model, and says that the new features significantly boost its range -- beyond what many traditional cars can get on a...

Date: 12/26/2014 | Business Wire

Coal lobby’s new tack: CO2 is good for you

For years, the fossil-fuel industries have been telling us that global warming is a hoax based on junk science.But now these industries are floating an intriguing new argument: They're admitting that human use of coal, oil and gas is causing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere...

Date: 12/18/2014 | Opinion Columnists

Allow sales tax break for electric cars to expire

As part of a broader package of proposals to be announced soon to address climate change, Gov. Jay Inslee wants to extend a sales tax break for those who purchase electric cars and open up car-pool lanes to the vehicles when they're driven solo.The intent is to encourage the...

Date: 12/01/2014 | Editorials

‘Greener’ fuels not yet worth the risks

It's been suggested that the forecast for Gov. Jay Inslee's climate agenda became cloudier once the Nov. 4 election results showed our Majority Coalition Caucus will continue to lead the state Senate for the remainder of Inslee's term.Given how the governor seems willing to...

Date: 11/30/2014 | Commentary

Utility tries community solar projects

SPOKANE — Solar energy intrigued Landy Comstock, but he wasn’t ready to fork out $30,000 to install solar panels on the roof of his home in Valleyford.Instead, he bought into a community solar project sponsored by his utility, Inland Power and Light Co.

Date: 11/25/2014 | Northwest

Groups call for closure of Hanford nuke plant

Groups call for closure of nuke plantRICHLAND— Two Seattle-based groups are calling for the closure of the Northwest’s only commercial nuclear power plant.

Date: 11/20/2014 | Northwest

PUD installs 1st solar project on Camano

CAMANO ISLAND — The Snohomish County Public Utility District’s newest Planet Power solar project, and the first on the island, is being installed this week at the Camano Center.

Date: 11/07/2014 | Local News

PUD should stick to proven technologies

The guest commentary, "Feds should pitch in on PUD-tidal project," in the Oct. 23 Herald, raises questions about decisions made by elected Snohomish Public Utility District commissioners and senior...

Date: 11/05/2014 | Commentary

It’s time to back solutions to climate change

We in Washington state are blessed that much of our electricity is generated by hydroelectric dams.Hydropower is not without its own environmental costs, but it does not emit the greenhouse gases that fuel climate change.Because of the dams, we can claim we're...

Date: 11/03/2014 | Editorials

Feds should pitch in on PUD tidal project

If ever there was a time for President Obama to intervene in renewable energy, it is now.The Snohomish County Public Utility District has been one of the most responsible, innovative leaders in this field, constantly trying to move the needle in ways that make sense for its...

Date: 10/23/2014 | Commentary

PUD race centers on utility's power reliability, core mission

Bruce King has been ringing doorbells to introduce himself as the candidate who is challenging longtime Snohomish County PUD Commissioner Dave Aldrich in the Nov. 4 election.Often, King said, he has had to explain what the PUD is and what its three commissioners do —...

Date: 10/19/2014 | Local News

Lockheed plans tiny fusion reactor

CHICAGO — Lockheed Martin Corp.’s secretive Skunk Works unit, which designed the U-2 spy plane and F-117 stealth fighter jet, is developing a reactor to harness nuclear fusion, the process that powers the sun.

Date: 10/16/2014 | Nation & World

Dave Aldrich warrants third term on PUD

The races every two years among those seeking a spot on the Snohomish Public Utility District's board of commissioners ought to earn just as much attention from voters as campaigns for city council, county executive or the Legislature. The Snohomish...

Date: 10/16/2014 | Editorials

PUD's tidal project well worth the investment

A boat, the weekend sailor's gripe goes, is a hole in the water you fill with money.You might be tempted now to swap out "boat" for "tidal energy turbine."Earlier this month, the Snohomish

Date: 10/13/2014 | Editorials

PUD claims 'gentlemen's agreement' over tidal project funding

EVERETT — Confusion about a funding agreement contributed to the sudden end of an eight-year, multimillion-dollar tidal energy project near Whidbey Island.The...

Date: 10/03/2014 | Local News

Cavern would store excess wind energy

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A proposal to export twice as much Wyoming wind power to Los Angeles as the amount of electricity generated by the Hoover Dam includes an engineering feat even more massive than that famous structure: Four chambers, each approaching the size of the Empire State Building, would be...

Date: 09/25/2014 | Business

Southwest Airlines plans to use biofuels

Southwest Airlines announced Wednesday that it plans to buy some biofuels made from waste wood, for use in its San Francisco Bay airports beginning in two years.

Date: 09/25/2014 | Business

Port Angeles paper mill ready to fire up boiler

PORT ANGELES — The Nippon Paper Industries mill at Port Angeles expects to have a stalled wood-waste boiler operating by November.The biomass co-generation plant will produce steam for the mill and electricity for sale to buyers of green energy.

Date: 09/23/2014 | Northwest

U.S. oil and gas production is indeed up, but at great cost

Robert Bryce, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, suggests that fossil fuels are here to stay (The Herald, Viewpoints, Sept. 7)...

Date: 09/21/2014 | Commentary

Buoys to help gauge offshore wind power potential

SEQUIM, Wash. — The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is equipping two 10-ton buoys at its Marine Science Lab in Sequim to help research offshore wind power.

Date: 09/12/2014 | Northwest

How bright a future?

Viewpoints: Solar energy’s gains can't match fossil fuel use

Date: 09/07/2014 | Commentary

Emerging solar plants scorch birds in mid-air

IVANPAH DRY LAKE, Calif.— Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant’s concentrated sun rays — “streamers,” for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair

Date: 08/18/2014 | Off the Wire

Comic book look at climate

Economist, illustrator team to explain global warming

Date: 08/17/2014 | Commentary

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