Focus on natural gas

In regard to the proposed Sunset Falls power plant, the PUD should be thinking much bigger. They should drop this plan and build a gas turbine (jet engine) power plant. These are now being built all over the country under the radar. Even California built one in downtown San Jose and you can drive by it on the freeway without even seeing it. These plants are about 500 to 600 MW (about half the size of a typical nuclear power plant) and burn natural gas. If you remember your high school chemistry class, natural gas is mainly methane which consists of a one-carbon atom surrounded by four hydrogen atoms. When it burns, the hydrogen combines with oxygen to make water and the one carbon makes carbon dioxide. With the four hydrogen atoms and one carbon atom very little carbon dioxide is produced. This type of plant can be built close to the load so big cross-country power lines are not required. These plants can respond very quickly to load changes, and when combined with base load power from nuclear plants, would have a very low carbon footprint. Hydropower has been very good to us, but it is time to move on to power plants with less impact to the environment.

Brad Ipsen

Marysville

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