Currently Powering 1,918,636 Homes

Follow Us On...
 
 
 
 

News Room Archive

In 2006, the voters of Washington passed Initiative 937, the Clean Energy Initiative. I-937 enacts a Renewable Energy Standard (RES) that requires Washington's 17 largest utilities to get 15% of their electricity from new, homegrown, renewable energy sources by 2020. Utilities are also required to pursue all low-cost energy efficiency and conservation opportunities.   By all accounts, I-937 has been a complete success - and it's good for Washington because it creates good paying jobs for Washingtonians, assists rural communities, and brings more clean energy to the state, all

read >

One of the major barriers facing the development of renewable energy projects in the Northwest is the availability of transmission capacity. Without a way to deliver power from their remote project locations to the urban centers that have a need for it, developers can’t move their projects forward. With many of the transmission lines in the region at or near capacity, finding a way to fund new transmission projects is vital.   For over a year now, RNP staff has engaged in a collaborative effort with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and their transmission customers to craft the finer

read >

Recent stories and editorials in the regional media concerning wind energy development prompted RNP to respond.  In an effort to set the matter straight on some points we feel were not accurately addressed, RNP has gathered some well-researched facts and prepared some talking points about wind energy development, how it is sited, and its impact on rural communities.   On Economic Development: New renewable energy projects are more than just important economic development, they are partners in building communities. Wind projects have helped support local schools, fire districts and other

read >

A new report from the research group Headwaters Economics shows the number of “green” jobs growing rapidly in the Rocky Mountain West and suggest the clean energy and energy efficiency sectors offer the most promise for the region’s future.   The report defines the “green economy” as “all of those enterprises and individuals who work to provide products, services, and knowledge associated with: clean energy produc tion, energy efficiency, natural resource conservation, and efforts to curb and clean-up environmental pollution.”   Between 1995 and 2007, jobs in those sectors outpaced the

read >

RNP released the report Greater Sage-Grouse & Wind Energy Development: A Review of the Issues. RNP commissioned WEST, Inc. and Wyoming Wildlife Consultants to produce the report which summarizes major issues associated with wind energy development and greater sage-grouse in the western U.S.   Specifically, the authors: developed a brief summary of the major threats to sage-grouse; reviewed the pertinent literature on response of sage-grouse and similar species to wind energy development; provided several stipulations to avoid and minimize impacts to sage-grouse when planning and

read >

Today, The Oregonian published an commentary by RNP's research director, Ken Dragoon, in their online version. The article focuses on how wind power supplies more than 20 percent of Denmark's electric energy needs, and how they plan to reach 50 percent within 10 years. Find out how Denmark's dedication to reducing fossil fuel use has shaped their energy policy and what we can learn from their experience.   Read the editorial in The Oregonian at: http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2010/08/moving_toward_a_renewable_futu.html

read >

This month Sustainable Industries, in partnership with RNP, launched a new on-going series examining the expansion of renewable energy in the Pacific Northwest. The series is entitled Generating The Clean Energy Future Of The Northwest, and the first installment is written by RNP's Executive Director, Rachel Shimshak.   Sustainable Industries is an independent media company producing an award-winning monthly magazine, a website, newsletter, Webinar and podcast series, and the Sustainable Industries Economic Forum series. Serving sustainable business leaders on the West Coast and beyond, the

read >

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) recently announced its updated greater sage-grouse conservation plan draft for public comment. Due to its proposed restrictions, the updated plan - if enacted - would prevent the development of responsibly sited commercial-scale renewable energy projects in the majority of Southeastern Oregon. This has serious ramifications for our climate, clean energy, job creation and the health of natural resource dependent communities.   (More on the sage-grouse plan draft here.)   We have a longstanding commitment to responsible renewable projects and to

read >

This week Christina Williams of the Portland Business Journal ran an article on energy advocates' positive response to the Vestas decision to move their North American headquarters to Portland.  The article includes quotes from Portland Mayor Sam Adams, Oregon State Rep. Jules Kopel Bailey and Rachel Shimshak of RNP.   Portland Business Journal is Portland's leading source of comprehensive business news and in-depth analysis.   Read the article on the Portland Business Journal website at: http://portland.bizjournals.com/portland/stories/2010/08/16/daily28.html

read >

Sustainable Business Oregon recently lauched a column by RNP's Research Director, Ken Dragoon, entitled The Vision for a Sustainable Future.   Sustainable Business Oregon, a publication of the Portland Business Journal, is dedicated to covering the news and issues of interest to Oregon's sustainable economy and giving voice to a growing community of experts in sustainability and business across the state.   Read Ken's column on the Sustainable Business Oregon website at: http://www.sustainablebusinessoregon.com/columns/2010/08/the_vision_for_a_sustainable_future.html

read >

In response to a recent Wall Street Journal column by Robert Bryce, RNP developed the following statement and set of science-based resources to dispel myths and misinformation projected by the article. We invite you to join us in spreading the truth about wind and renewable energy.     A recent Wall Street Journal article (“Wind Power Won't Cool Down the Planet.” Robert Bryce, August 23, 2010) critical of wind energy is reflective of a number of popular media stories circulating to promote studies commissioned by the fossil fuel industry. The article rejects the widely known carbon benefits

read >

RNP submitted written comments to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Commission regarding the proposed revisions to the "Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation Assessment and Strategy for Oregon." The Commission hearing is scheduled for Thursday, September 30, in Bend, OR.   See the following reference materials in connection with the filing of our comments:   RNP's comments submitted 9/13/10. (8 MB pdf file) Letter submitted to the Bureau of Land Management regarding their use of the ODFW habitat classification system in their "opportunity maps." (265 kB pdf file) Greater Sage-

read >

RNP staff recently took a tour of ZGF Architects' new offices in downtown Portland. Among its many sustainable design features are a rooftop garden space with wind turbines and solar hot water panels. Read Erin Greeson's full article. more >

read >

Recent stories and campaign ads have challenged renewable energy tax credits. Representing 85,000 people working in the American wind industry, we can say unequivocally that this tax credit has been one of the most effective public policies in existence for saving American jobs.   At a time when the recession threatened at least 40,000 American wind construction, manufacturing and other jobs, the 1603 tax credit program restarted stalled projects and saved all 40,000 jobs at risk. This year, a study by Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory (LBNL) found that the 1603 tax credit supported

read >

OregonLive.com recently published a guest column by RNP's Executive Director, Rachel Shimshak, along with Angus Duncan, Andrea Durbin, Bob Jenks, Sara Patton, and Jim Piro entitled Charting Oregon's Energy Future Beyond Coal.   Read the column on The Oregonian's website at: http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2010/11/charting_oregons_energy_future.html  

read >

The Oregon Health Authority’s Office of Environmental Public Health is pursuing a health impact assessment (HIA) of wind energy facilities and is seeking input from Oregonians who live near wind farms. If done properly, the study will help educate the public by addressing perceptions and misperceptions regarding wind energy and public health.   For more information on Oregon's Health Impact Assessment see http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/ph/hia/windenergy.shtml   All independent governmental studies have consistently concluded that operating wind farms do not result in ill health impacts. We

read >

RNP worked with Citizens Utility Board, Oregon Environmental Council, Northwest Energy Coalition and Angus Duncan to reach an agreement with Portland General Electric (PGE) on several issues related to closing the Boardman coal plant early and cleaning up PGE’s energy resource mix.   The group agreed to support a framework that: ceases coal-fired operations at Boardman no later than 2020, makes significant emission reductions in the interim, and is accompanied by a commitment to low-carbon resource planning in the utility’s integrated resource portfolio (IRP) process.   The letters

read >

Oregon's conservation community recently communicated a consensus opinion on the need to promote renewable energy development while balancing the need for landscape-scale conservation.   Read the letter here.

read >

National Public Radio published an article showing that a new public radio poll found broad support for wind energy among Northwest residents. The opinion survey was a collaboration of the Northwest Health Foundation, the polling firm Davis, Hibbitts and Midghall and public radio stations across the Northwest.   Read the article on NPR's website at: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=132749002&ft=3&f=

read >

The Kitsap Sun has a great article on a community solar project at the Pouslbo Middle School in Washington. The panels are produced in Washington, and the developer is a former luxury home builder that changed business focus after the real estate market crash. You can find the article written by Maks Goldenshteyn on the Kitsap Sun web site.   http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/feb/07/states-largest-community-solar-project-goes-in/

read >

The Oregonian published a guest editorial on February 16, 2011, on clean energy development and job creation in Oregon. The piece, entitled Creating our own 'Sputnik Moment' for Oregon, was a collaborative effort between RNP and others. The editorial was signed by Lisa Adatto of Climate Solutions, John J. Audley at Renewable Northwest Project, and Glenn Montgomery of the Oregon Solar Energy Industry Association.   In addition to the three authors noted with the editorial, other clean energy coalition members worked hard toward this editorial and deserve to be recognized. Their names - while

read >

"Wind companies have poured more than $17 million in property taxes, fees and strategic investments into Sherman County, according to a recent assessment of wind's impact on the rural area."   That opening sentence of Sustainable Business Oregon's article from February 17, 2011, gets straight to the point, but there are many details in the article beyond this basic fact that illustrate perfectly a point RNP has been making for many years -- renewable energy development benefits local communities and has real economic impacts.   The full article is posted on the Sustainable Business Oregon

read >

Columbia Gorge Community College recevied one of three seals of approval from the American Wind Energy Assoication (AWEA) in January.  This is a great honor for their wind turbine service technician training programs!   The article is posted on the Sustainable Business Oregon website at: http://www.sustainablebusinessoregon.com/articles/2011/01/cgcc-honored-for-wind-training-program.html

read >

With so much attention in the media recently on health impacts from wind turbines, RNP thought it would be a good idea to highlight the facts on wind turbine sound, the most common concern. RNP has been following research on the issue for many years and has been involved in setting Oregon's stringent standard. Read our summary here.

read >

2011 has been a great year for RNP Member, SolarCity.  The company has been recognized with many fine awards for its achievements in solar energy and we want everyone to know. Most recently, Fast Company ranked SolarCity #1 on their top ten list of innovative companies in energy.  They have also received awards and recognition from Renewable Energy World, US Department of Energy, and The Crunchies Awards among others. Click here to see the full list.   For more information on SolarCity see their website at SolarCity.com. 

read >

The Observer  (Union and Wallowa counties in Oregon) recently published an article detailing a day in the life of a wind turbine maintenance worker for Horizon Wind Energy's Elkhorn Valley Wind Farm at Telocaset.  Curtis Pedro provided a wonderful perspective of his experience as a maintenance technician, as well as his views of wind farms in the local community.   To read The Observer's article, click here.

read >

The Huffington Post recently published an article by Kelly Rigg, Executive Director of the Global Campaign for Climate Action (GCCA), detailing the success of the Japanese wind industry that is helping keep the lights on during the Fuksuhima crisis.   To read the entire post, click here.

read >

Renewable Northwest Project has released an updated fact sheet on the economic impacts of renewable energy development in Oregon. It details job and investment impacts from wind solar and geothermal development in the state.   Some of the many highlights covered include:   The renewable energy sector has invested over $5.4 billion in Oregon so far, with over $4.5 billion of that coming from the wind industry. Oregon is a leader in solar manufacturing, employing 1,700 currently with more on the horizon. Since 2001, Oregon has seen more than $143 million invested in residential and

read >

David Petersen, co-chair of the Energy Practice Group at Tonkon Torp, recently authored an article about how renewable energy is smart economic policy.  The article was published by the Daily Journal of Commerce as part of Tonkon Torp's monthly column, "Plugged In." Read the article online at Encouraging renewable energy: smart policy.

read >

Sustainable Business Oregon has a nice write up on renewable energy investment in Oregon. The article features RNP Executive Director Rachel Shimshak and highlights our conservative calculation of $5.4 billion in investment in the Oregon.   You can read the article on the Sustainable Business Oregon web site at: http://www.sustainablebusinessoregon.com/articles/2011/03/renewable-energy-investment-in-ore.html   For more information on the $5.4 billion figure download our sheet on how we compiled the figure. download >

read >

HB 198 has sparked some debate over Montana's use of eminent domain and transmission line siting. Jim Peterson, Montana Senate president, recently published an insightful op-ed in The Prairie Star on this issue. Read the full op-ed in The Prairie Star at:http://www.theprairiestar.com/news/opinion/hb-restores-use-of-eminent-domain-that-has-always-existed/article_d83a82ea-55a7-11e0-b8c6-001cc4c002e0.html.

read >

"A state House panel on Tuesday took the wind out of the sails of those demanding a moratorium on wind power development in Idaho."   Read the article from Bloomberg Businessweek at:http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9M4F3000.htm

read >

"The House State Affairs Committee voted 11-8 Tuesday to keep House Bill 265 in committee. The bill aimed to put a two-year moratorium on the building of wind turbines in Idaho. There was no new testimony given following hearings on Friday and Monday, but members of the committee debated for about an hour."   Read the rest of the article on IdahoReporter.com at:http://www.idahoreporter.com/2011/wind-turbine-moratorium-killed-in-house-committee/ 

read >

SNL Financial's Blog posted an article on Monday, April 4, 2011 by energy reporter Lisa Cohn on Oregon's business energy tax credit (BETC).  Read the article below, or visit SNL's website and register as a subscriber to comment on the blog post.   Monday, April 04, 2011 7:27 AM PT Why all the flak over Oregon's big green success? By Lisa CohnThe views and opinions expressed in this piece represent only those of the author and not necessarily those of SNL. It's hard to understand all the flak over Oregon's green tax incentives, which have been a whopping success and positioned the state as a

read >

"Tonbridge Power Inc. should be allowed to continue construction of the Montana Alberta Tie Ltd. power line including the use of eminent domain when the company's regular easement negotiation process fails to reach an agreement with a landowner." Read the rest of the Great Falls Tribune op-ed at:http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20110321/OPINION01/103210303/1001/NEWS/Eminent-domain-needed-justified-MATL-power-line?odyssey=nav%7Chead 

read >

"More than a year after it solicited proposals for renewable energy projects, NorthWestern Energy says it’s close to signing a contract with a new wind power project to help supply its customers in Montana." Read the rest of the article in the Missoulian at:http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/article_15e7e196-d4ed-11df-9bb6-001cc4c002e0.html 

read >

"The Montana Department of Labor is studying how transmission lines will impact the state's economy. There are currently six major electricity transmission projects planned or under construction that would allow additional generation capacity in Montana." Read the full KXLH news story at:http://www.kxlh.com/news/mt-agency-12k-jobs-from-energy-transmission-projects/ 

read >

"Local governments can soon look forward to increasing their tax base in a big way, as construction of the Montana Alberta Tie Line (MATL) is making its way through the state - along with hundreds of millions of dollars." Read the full KXLH News story at:http://www.kxlh.com/news/matl-construction-to-bring-wind-energy-jobs-to-montana/ 

read >

ReCharge, an international industry news outlet, ran an article highlighting Oregon's renewable energy investment success story in the April 8th issue. Reporter Benjamin Romano recently traveled to Portland to attend an RNP press conference during which the $5.4 billion landmark news was detailed. Normally, readers must subscribe to the publication to access ReCharge articles, but the editor has graciously allowed RNP to post a PDF of Romano's article to our website. Download >   (2.7MB PDF) ReCharge delivers comprehensive global renewable energy news. RNP encourages readers to subscribe

read >

RNP submitted written comments to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Commission regarding the March 2011 revisions to the "Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation Assessment and Strategy for Oregon" and "Draft Rules for Oregon's Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation Strategy." The Commission hearing is scheduled for Friday, April 22, in Salem, OR. Click here to read RNP's comments, submitted April 7, 2011.   Click here to read ODFW's March 2011 revision and draft rules.

read >

RNP is pleased to announce that our Executive Director Rachel Shimshak was profiled as one of five 2011 Influencers of Wind Power by Windpower Engineering magazine.   As stated by the publication,"these Innovators and Influencers have had such a significant impact on the wind industry that the staff of Windpower Engineering would like to celebrate their success in the second annual Innovators and Influencers of Wind Power special section." Rachel joins four others on this year's list, including: Ken Salazar, United states Secretary of the Interior; Carlito P. Caliboso, Chairman of Hawaii’s

read >

"The Bonneville Power Administration has put the breaks on a plan to halt energy production from wind farms when water levels in the federal hydropower system are high. Opponents to the plan, including Sen. Jeff Merkley and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Oregon democrats, say it has the power to upend renewable energy development in the Northwest and unfairly discriminates against wind-energy generators." Read the entire article on the Sustainable Business Oregon web site at:http://www.sustainablebusinessoregon.com/articles/2011/04/bpa-pulls-back-on-plan-to-shut-off-wind.html?ana=sbo 

read >

"San Diego Gas & Electric has signed an agreement with wind farm developer NaturEner to finance $250 million of a 309-megawatt wind farm proposed in Montana, helping the investor-owned utility meet California's renewable energy standards. Bill Alexander, NaturEner's chief development officer, said SDG&E is ensuring the Rim Rock wind farm gets built while satisfying its renewable energy requirements. Electricity sold by California utilities must be 33 percent renewable by 2020 — the highest percentage requirement in the nation. Additionally, shareholders of Sempra Energy, the parent

read >

Renewable Northwest Project submitted a "Review of Scientific Literature Regarding Wind Power Generation Facility Siting" to the Umatilla County Board of Commissioners, regarding the amendment to Conditional Use Section 152.616 (HHH) of the Umatilla County Development Code. Each article has been uploaded here as a link to download:   Cover Letter Section 1 - RNP Whitepapers Renewable Energy & Economic Development: Real Examples from Oregon. March, 2011. Windfall from the Wind Farm: Economic Development in Sherman County. July, 2006. Renewable Energy Fact Sheet. October, 2005. Wind Power

read >

"The largest rooftop solar energy system in the nation was unveiled this week, designed and installed by Portland-based Solar Nation Inc. using solar panels made by SolarWorld in Hillsboro. That the building it rests upon is in New Jersey tells a lot about why Solar Nation Inc. might one day think about being there, too." Read the entire article on the Sustainable Business Oregon website at:http://sustainablebusinessoregon.com/articles/2011/04/solar-nation-prefers-oregon-but-faces.html 

read >

"The manager of most of the electricity in the Pacific Northwest is running such a surplus of power from hydroelectric dams that it put wind farms on notice Friday that they may be shut down as early as this weekend. The Bonneville Power Administration has more than enough electricity during a cold, wet spring that has created a big surge in river flows where hydroelectric dams are located. The agency responded by announcing its intentions to curtail wind power until the grid has more capacity, in a move likely to cost the industry millions of dollars." Read the rest of this Associated Press

read >

U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, joined the American Wind Energy Association and others today in accusing the Bonneville Power Administration of discriminating against wind power at a time it needs help to expand, and failing to adopt strategies identified in a 2007 report on integrating wind power into the Northwest energy grid. Bonneville, which sells power from federal dams in the region, has been curtailing wind generation on the Columbia Plateau because a heavy spring runoff has left the federal power marketing agency with more water and wind energy than it can sell in the region or

read >

Rachel Shimshak, RNP Executive Director, recently submitted a "Letter to the Editor" in response to The Oregonian's May 20 editorial "BPA's wind power cutoff sends a troubling signal."  She thanks The Oregonian for highlighting clean energy in light of BPA's recent wind curtailment policy decision. To read Rachel's letter, please click here.

read >

"The Oregon Business Energy Tax Credit program, accustomed to having hundreds of millions of dollars worth of tax credits to issue each year, may soon have to share just $10 million with a handful of other programs.  A joint House-Senate committee on tax credits is mulling the fate of several tax credit programs — including the popular yet vilified BETC, as well as residential energy generation and conservation credits and tax breaks for film and TV productions — that are set expire half-way through the coming biennium." Read the full Sustainable Business Oregon story at:http://www.

read >

"It pays to live in Sherman County: $590 a year. In this sparsely populated landscape south of the Columbia River Gorge, annual checks for that amount are local residents’ share of a windfall brought by the growing wind energy industry. In an area otherwise dominated by wheat farms, hundreds of 300-foot wind turbines now generate electricity and cash." Read the rest of this New York Times article about wind power in Sherman County, OR, on their website at:http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/31/us/31wind.html

read >

"A coalition of five companies filed a claim with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today, charging the Bonneville Power Administration with violating the Federal Power Act by requiring wind farms to shut down operations. The claim cites decades of regulatory policy as grounds to get more than 2,000 wind turbines back on the grid." Read the full Sustainable Business Oregon story at:http://sustainablebusinessoregon.com/articles/2011/06/five-companies-file-claim-against.html?comments=1

read >

"The Oregon House voted Wednesday to significantly scale back a tax credit that has been used to expand renewable energy in the state. Lawmakers voted to eliminate the Business Energy Tax Credit program and replace it with new schemes, shifting the focus to smaller, community-based renewable energy projects instead of large, commercial-scale wind and solar facilities." Read the full Associated Press article on Forbes' website at: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/06/23/business-us-energy-tax-credits-oregon_8531229.html                   

read >

WASHINGTON — Montana boasts one of the highest concentrations of "green" jobs, but the growth of that environmentally friendly sector has been slower than the national average, a new report concludes.  The Treasure State ranked 41st among states and the District of Columbia, registering about 14,200 of the approximately 2.7 million jobs in the "clean economy," according to the Brooking Institution's "Sizing the Clean Economy: A National and Regional Green Jobs Assessment."   To read the full article, go to the Great Falls Tribune website here.

read >

"Commissioners from Madison, Jefferson and Beaverhead Counties listened Wednesday to a consortium of area nonprofit groups discuss their research into locating the controversial Mountain States Transmission Intertie line proposed by NorthWestern Energy. The meeting was hosted by the Madison County Commissioners and was attended not only by commissioners from the other two counties, but by a handful of citizens, a representative from the Bureau of Land Management and representatives from NorthWestern Energy. Leading the meeting was Monique DiGiorgio, from the Western Environmental Law Center

read >

"Wind energy is increasingly being considered a viable and attractive power source. Many countries, including the U.S., Germany, Spain, China, and India, are putting policies into place to drive the development of their wind energy industries. In Canada, the amount of wind energy being harnessed for use in our homes, offices, and factories has grown quickly over the past few years, led by Ontario with its Green Energy Act. However, a backlash has been growing in many places where wind power is being developed. In Ontario, one of the main criticisms of wind development has been its impact on

read >

"I’m writing regarding the recent editorial about eminent domain and the struggles over power lines. The editorial made some factual errors that need to be addressed. First, let’s address the current controversy over siting of two power lines, the Mountain States Intertie and the Montana Alberta Tie line. Each of these lines has its own particular issues which are varied and complex. But the editorial said there was no similar controversy when the power lines from Colstrip were built. That is simply wrong. The Colstrip lines were opposed vociferously. Some of my first political experience

read >

"Wind turbines are back to transmitting power without interference in the Northwest as the Bonneville Power Administration has ended a 53-day curtailment period aimed at balancing the grid amid high water flows. But whether that policy benefited more than economics for BPA is now the subject of dispute. As opponents to BPA’s curtailment policy continue to stoke what’s become a national debate over power transmission rights, one thing is clear: The sparring over BPA’s decision to supress 97,557 megawatts of wind power is just the first round in what’s likely to become a prolonged

read >

Recently, in Ames, Iowa, Republican presidential candidates met for the traditional “Straw Poll” that signals the beginning of the upcoming election. Like many Montanans, many Iowans tend to be conservative, common sense people who are focused on making a living off their land. Iowa, like Montana, depends upon exporting its agricultural goods to other states and countries. These candidates — such as Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and Thaddeus McCotter — met at TPI Composites to place their signatures on a 130-foot wind turbine blade that the company

read >

It seems almost everyone loves small-scale renewable energy, the rooftop solar panels and backyard wind turbines that help power residential homes. Sure, some may scoff at the desire to take control of your own energy consumption. But by and large, most people will see it as your right to produce what you use. “More power to you” they’ll say, literally. And small-scale renewables should enjoy the unanimous support of the public. They work, can be cost-effective, and homegrown energy solutions make a real difference. But for all the good small-scale renewables do, the truth is that they are

read >

As more renewable energy projects come online, grid managers will need a way to transport that power from where it’s produced to where it’s most often consumed. Enter transmission lines. They work as interstate highways, shipping energy from large-scale wind farms to where it’s most needed, in cities like Portland, Boise and Seattle. But sometimes these lines can act as bottleneck to the entire system. It’s much faster to build renewable energy projects than transmission lines, said Cameron Yourkowski, senior policy manager with Renewable Northwest Project.   Read the full article and

read >

RICHLAND, Wash. – A new report (PDF) from the American Wind Energy Association ranks Washington No. 6 and Oregon No. 7 in wind energy installations though the third quarter of this year. The states rank high even though neither Oregon nor Washington added or expanded any wind projects during the past three months. Nationwide, this was the busiest quarter since 2008, the report states. Renewable Northwest Project deputy director John Audley says more companies are working to complete projects before the federal production tax credit and state incentives end next year. “We’re seeing

read >

It’s time Montana makes a transition away from coal power. Our existing coal plants are aging. In the next five to 10 years we face some decisions about what path we will take to the future. Refurbishing old plants is an expensive and short-term solution. Alternatively, building new coal plants is expensive and risky. Other states facing the same issue are more and more turning away from coal power. But in Montana coal is king, wielding tremendous power in the political arena. We’ve all heard the arguments the proponents of coal power make. “It’s affordable, it’s reliable, and it’s clean, so

read >

GRASS VALLEY -- Every household in windswept Sherman County will soon get a Christmas gift in the mail: a $590 check. The lonesome 831-square-mile county may lay to rest the adage about an "ill wind blowing nobody any good." This is the third consecutive year that checks will go out for the people's share of annual wind-energy revenues. No other Oregon county makes similar payments and the $416,540 cash outlay may be unprecedented in the United States, says John Audley, spokesman for Renewable Northwest Project. His Portland-based coalition of companies and groups promotes renewable energy.

read >

USING $491,000 REHBERG APPROPRIATION, FEC WILL START DEC. 12 NEAR HOT SPRINGS After a long delay, Flathead Electric Cooperative is preparing to begin drilling in the Hot Springs area to explore the possibilities of geothermal energy. In 2009, Rep. Denny Rehberg secured $491,000 for Flathead Electric Cooperative to use in pursuing geothermal exploration. At the time, the cooperative hoped to start drilling on a piece of land near Hot Springs by the following year, but the project was put on hold after the landowner died. Lengthy negotiations with the landowner’s estate ensued, culminating

read >

RNP Pursues Correction to The Willamette Week's Wrong Report Recently, The Willamette Week newspaper made a major mistake in a report about clean energy jobs. This error offered an opportunity to make a pointed public correction, while shedding light on the story of how clean energy investments have driven related job growth at unprecedented rates. Despite our numerous correction attempts, The Willamette Week declined on issuing a follow-up report. This was a disservice to thousands of good people and businesses that comprise our regional workforce. Readers deserve the facts about what Oregon

read >

"A report released this week by Renewable Northwest Project solidifies the region's leadership in green power purchases, showing that even during tough economic times Northwest consumers are willing to pay a little extra to support renewable energy. In its 11th annual report on retail green power programs — run by utilities and marketed to customers — found that participation in these programs increased 8.5 percent in 2010."   Read the entire Sustainable Business Oregon article at:http://www.sustainablebusinessoregon.com/articles/2011/11/northwest-consumers-pick-green-power.html 

read >

SNL Financial recently posted an article by energy reporter Lisa Cohn, who covered RNP's response to inaccurate media coverage of clean energy jobs in Oregon. By highlighting corrective data and more, Cohn illuminates Oregon's clean energy economy success story. Read the article below, or visit SNL's website and register as a subscriber to comment on the blog post.   To download the SNL Financial article, click here. Read RNP's initial response and media correction request letter, here.   Are green jobs in Oregon, or aren’t they? November 25, 2011 By Lisa Cohn, SNL Financial  Government

read >

An ambitious project by a California company to install solar panels for more than 100,000 military housing units has been revived with private financing after it failed to receive a loan guarantee from the federal government. The company, SolarCity, plans to announce Wednesday that Bank of America Merrill Lynch will lend it up to $350 million to put solar electric panels on roofs and other areas to power as many as 120,000 homes for military personnel over the next five years. Under the program, which would roughly double the number of homes with solar power if fully carried out, SolarCity

read >

Federal energy regulators told the Bonneville Power Administration Wednesday that it can no longer discriminate against wind farm owners by cutting off their transmission during periods of excess electricity generation in the region. The decision is a rare defeat for the federal power marketing agency, which sells electricity generated at 31 federal hydroelectric projects in the region to 140 public utilities. BPA also controls three quarters of the high voltage transmission system in the Northwest. During last spring's massive runoff, BPA adopted a policy of curtailing generation by wind

read >

It’s official: wind wins. That’s the very simple summary of a ruling from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Wednesday, which ordered the Bonneville Power Administration to halt the practice of curbing wind power in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a long-awaited conclusion for both the wind power companies and the utilities that both develop and purchase wind power in the northwest. Those entities have grappled with the decision by BPA since curtailments of wind power began May 18. During near daily shutdowns of wind power last summer, 35 wind farms with more than 2,000 turbines stood

read >

While we appreciate attention toward the issue of energy supply, the Herald's editorial on Dec. 12, "Paying wind farms for zip FERC's idea of level playing field," leaves out some key points. Taxpayers deserve the full story about all energy sources and the policies that shape how they are used. It is important to understand how all aspects of our energy mix shape our economies, communities, environment and future. Despite the Herald editorial board's criticism, many Washington citizens have joined diverse businesses, utilities, salmon advocates and clean energy groups applauding FERC's

read >

Uncle Sam took up the challenge in the year of '33 For the farmer and the factory and all of you and me. He said, "Roll along Columbia. You can ramble to the sea, But river while you're ramblin' you can do some work for me." Now in Washington and Oregon you hear the factories hum, Making chrome and making manganese and light aluminum. And there roars a mighty furnace now to fight for Uncle Sam, Spawned upon the King Columbia by the big Grand Coulee Dam. Those lines are from a Woody Guthrie song about building the hydroelectric Grand Coulee Dam. They are a good reminder that public policy

read >

When you don't have the facts or the law on your side, distract them with fear and emotion. That seems to be the attitude by some toward the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's order directing the Bonneville Power Administration to halt discriminatory practices on its electric transmission system (Scott Corwin, In My Opinion, Dec. 21). The FERC order said, in essence, that BPA may not unduly discriminate against non-federal electricity generation in order to gain an economic advantage for its own generation.  BPA performs two primary functions for the benefit of Northwest electricity

read >

Advocate Praises Health Department, Underscores Benefits of Renewable Energy On January 3, 2012, the Oregon Public Health Division released its draft Wind Energy Health Impact Assessment (HIA). Renewable Northwest Project has been following the HIA process from its onset. The draft report’s overall findings refute concerns about wind farms and health impacts and reinforce our understanding of the many health, economic and environmental benefits wind farms bring to Oregon communities. While we will submit comments toward some aspects of the report draft proposing minor updates, Renewable

read >

NaturEner USA of San Francisco announced Tuesday that the renewable energy company has received financing it needs to proceed with construction of a 189-megawatt wind farm on 21,000 acres in Glacier and Toole Counties, its third wind farm in Montana. NaturEner says it expects the Rim Rock project to be operating by the end of 2012. The wind farm, which would feature 126 Acciona wind turbines, will produce enough energy to power more than 60,000 homes.  NaturEner announced it is ready to proceed with construction after securing a $320 million construction loan from Morgan Stanley --

read >

Christina Williams of Sustainable Business Oregon included Rachel Shimshak, Executive Director of Renewable Northwest Project, in her list of top ten energy leaders to watch in 2012.   To read the article and view the photo gallery, please click here: http://www.sustainablebusinessoregon.com/articles/2012/01/gallery-ten-energy-leaders-to-watch.html

read >

There is little to no evidence that wind turbines pose a risk to the health of residents living near them, a panel of independent scientists and doctors found in a report commissioned by the state Department of Environmental Protection. The panel concluded that there is no rigorous research showing that churning turbines or the resulting flickering light and vibrations produce dizziness, nausea, depression, or anxiety - a set of symptoms that critics call “wind turbine syndrome.’’ But the 164-page report released yesterday found “limited evidence’’ that the noise from wind turbines can

read >

"There is no conclusive evidence so far that wind turbines are responsible for health problems ranging from balance problems to diabetes, an independent panel of health experts reports. With turbine farms on the rise, complaints and lawsuits brought by communities where they have been placed have mushroomed. Apart from more serious ailments, residents have cited the swooshing of the blades as a factor in problems like disturbances in the vestibular system that affect the inner ear and balance. So in Massachusetts, a state with its own share of wind farms, the state Department of

read >

“Steady wind energy polices are paying off.” This might well be the subheading to the recent flurry of articles detailing new wind energy development in Montana. In case you missed the good news, here are the highlights: First, two weeks ago, wind-energy developer NaturEner announced the start of construction for its 189-megawatt Rim Rock wind farm near Shelby, which is expected to generate enough energy to power more than 60,000 homes, and will offset more than 389,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year. If NaturEner’s neighboring 210-megawatt Glacier Wind Farm is any indication of the

read >

"There are more than 5,000 solar companies in the U.S.," says SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive. "Many of these companies will go out of business." (Paging Solyndra!) But last year, SolarCity expanded to the East Coast and added 12,000 projects, all without a dollar of government funding. The key: Rather than just make panels, it is a full-service operation--designing, installing, financing, and maintaining every system. Read the entire article from Fast Company at: http://www.fastcompany.com/most-innovative-companies/2012/solarcity

read >

HOUSTON, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Owners of wind farms in the Pacific Northwest objected to a cost-sharing proposal suggested by the Bonneville Power Administration to settle last year's dispute over the curtailment of wind generation, according to a letter sent on Monday to U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Executives with Iberdrola Renewables, PacifiCorp, NextEra Energy and others called BPA's idea a "clear circumvention of the FERC order to file an open access transmission tariff," in the letter to Chu. In December, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ordered Bonneville to revise its "

read >

An ambitious project by a California company to install solar panels for more than 100,000 military housing units has been revived with private financing after it failed to receive a loan guarantee from the federal government. The company, SolarCity, plans to announce Wednesday that Bank of America Merrill Lynch will lend it up to $350 million to put solar electric panels on roofs and other areas to power as many as 120,000 homes for military personnel over the next five years. Read the rest of this New York Times article at:http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/30/business/energy-environment/

read >

Investment in wind energy and other “new” energy sources — solar, geothermal and biomass — is proving to be a big time windfall as Washington’s economy pulls out of the Great Recession. Capital investment in so-called clean energy has reached $7.9 billion, according to data compiled by the Renewable Northwest Project, a regional non-profit that charts and advocates new energy. Growth of wind energy, in particular, is apparent along Interstate 90, in the windmills on hills east and west of Ellensburg, and in the Stateline Wind Project near U.S. 12 between Pasco and Walla Walla. In 2011

read >

Some Washington state lawmakers want to scale-back the state's voter-approved renewable energy targets in the name of reducing the burden on utility ratepayers at a time of continued high unemployment. But renewable energy's backers say the Washington Energy Independence Act has helped attract $7.9bn of investment in the state, employing hundreds of people. Washington lawmakers have proposed a bevy of bills that would significantly change the state's renewable energy mandate, which requires utilities to add renewables to serve 15% of their load by 2020. The most dramatic

read >

Capital investment to date in Washington energy produced from wind, solar, geothermal and biomass has exceeded $7.9 billion, according to data released by Renewable Northwest Project, a regional nonprofit advocacy group. "This is a pivotal time for economic recovery and environmental protection, and Washington's renewable energy resources are delivering the solutions we need," said Rachel Shimshak, executive director at Renewable Northwest Project, in a statement. However, the Washington state legislature is considering changes to the renewable energy standard in the state’s voter-

read >

A recent bipartisan public opinion survey shows that three quarters of Montana voters are strongly supportive of increasing the state’s renewable energy standard to 25 percent by 2025. According to the survey, Montanans believe that clean energy is key to future economic growth and creates job. Montana voters support renewable energy for several reasons, including the connection to job growth, health concerns and our dependency on foreign energy sources. The survey finds that 86% of Montana voters support the development of wind and solar energy. Wind energy receives the greatest intensity

read >

Pacific Power will start construction in May on its first commercial-scale solar project in Oregon, the utility announced today. Swinerton Builders, which has offices in Portland and headquarters in San Francisco, Calif., will install the 9,000 panels for the two-megawatt solar project. The project’s cost is not being released. The project, which will span 21 acres near Lakeview, is called the “Black Cap” after a popular hang-gliding launch point near the future project site. Oregon-based Obsidian Finance Group developed the project. PacifiCorp will own the project rights and the land under

read >

The Montana Public Service Commission and Northwestern Energy have recently come together to create a real “win-win” for clean wind energy and Montana’s electricity rate payers. PSC commissioners just approved Northwestern Energy’s Spion Kop (spy-in-cop) wind project in central Montana, about 35 miles south east of Great Falls. It will produce 40 megawatts of power, or about enough electricity to power 35,000 homes when operating at full capacity and no less than about 13,000 homes on average. Several factors make this wind project a good deal: First, the cost of this energy to rate-payers

read >

VANCOUVER -- Encouraged by the results of a five-month study, west coast leaders on Tuesday night vowed to create up to a million new jobs in the "clean economy" within the next 10 years. Leaders from the Pacific Coast Collaborative (PCC) -- B.C. Premier Christy Clark, Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and California Secretary of Natural Resource John Laird -- made the announcement at Vancouver's Fairmont Waterfront hotel as part of the opening reception for GLOBE 2012, a biennial international conference and trade fair on business and the

read >

As a former wilderness ranger, I’d like to think I am more likely than most to notice the intrusion of industrial infrastructure on the landscape. Yet, I am often struck by how little I notice one of the state’s largest transmission lines on my commute between Helena and Bozeman. On the stretch of U.S. 287 between Winston and Townsend, it’s the road itself that most often catches my eye: an eight-mile straightaway of blacktop cutting across the land. Yet just a little down the road, five miles south of Townsend, I barely notice one of the state’s largest transmission lines a mile out before

read >

Strong winds generated 4,000 megawatts onto the Bonneville Power Administration’s transmission grid on a single day this month. That’s as much as four nuclear power plants. This spike comes at a time when the Pacific Northwest grid already has an abundance of power. That’s because rivers are running high as the snow melts. Spring salmon runs also complicate the system. The fish need a certain amount of water spilling through dams, which means hydropower can only be limited to a point, BPA officials say. But conservation groups, including Save Our Wild Salmon, debate the accuracy of this

read >

As highlighted recently by the Jan. 19 Sustainable Life's Green Wheels special section, as well as the Tribune's "Innovative design comes in new Boxx" (Jan. 26) and the Forest Grove News-Times' "Electric Chargers come to Forest Grove"(Feb. 15), the electric vehicle market in Oregon is expanding, bringing with it new innovative industries, job growth and consumer savings. As environmental and consumer advocacy groups, we are excited about the benefits electric vehicles can create in our state. This is exactly the right direction for Oregon, already a leader in clean technology.

read >

Montana voters have spoken, and they are overwhelmingly in favor of renewable energy. Two impartial polls, one conducted in Montana and another in six Western states, illustrate the extent to which Western voters support renewable energy development and policies. Both polls were conducted by a bipartisan team that includes Republican pollster Lori Weigel with Public Opinion Strategies, and Democratic pollster Dave Metz with Fairbanks, Maslin, Maulin, Metz and Associates. The Montana poll found that three out of four Montana voters support increasing the amount of electricity we get from

read >

Excerpt from 15 March 2012 Argus US Electricity article, "BPA redispatch motives challenged":Interest groups and fish scientists in the Pacific northwest say the Bonneville Power Administration instituted its environmental redispatch policy used during times of regional overgeneration for economic rather than environmental reasons.     RNP obtained special editor's permission to post this subscription-only article. We appreciate this courtesy and encourage all interested parties to subscribe for in-depth coverage. Download the article in PDF format here.   For information on subscribing to

read >

SolarCity: leading the industry through innovation RNP is pleased to share exciting news about one of our members: FastCompany magazine named SolarCity one of the World's Most Innovative Companies of 2012, ranking it among the top ten, alongside global innovators like Google, Amazon and Apple. The California-based solar energy services company is no stranger to industry accolades. Since its inception in 2006, SolarCity has received numerous awards from business and clean energy groups. The heart of SolarCity’s innovation is its business model, which includes a full spectrum of energy

read >

Last month the Environmental Protection Agency set carbon emissions limits on new coal plants. Environmental groups swooned. Coal executives ground their teeth. It's progress, sort of. The EPA announcement, while welcome, contrasts sharply with last year's decision, by Portland General Electric and the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission, to terminate coal operations at the Boardman power plant by 2020. The Boardman decision, arrived at collaboratively, moves Oregon decisively toward a reliable, low-carbon, coal-free power system. The EPA's new rule is a largely empty gesture that

read >

Whether or not the 450-mile, 500kv Mountain States Transmission Intertie — MSTI — line is built, one fresh idea that has come out of the process is the creation of a citizens-based study group to help the average person’s voice be heard. State and federal agencies have the reputation for not listening to the “folks on the ground” who are directly affected by such projects as MSTI. A clear example of that was when Jefferson County commissioners sued the Department of Environmental Quality council over the perceived lack of consultation with the county about the environmental study for the

read >

Salmon advocates say they have new information that shows that spilling more water over dams may actually benefit fish. The news has implications for wind power generators as they look toward another spring season of possible shutdowns. Though it isn’t yet clear whether Northwest power generators face another season of power oversupply — a condition that stems from high water levels in the Federal Columbia River Power System, which peak simultaneously with wind speeds in spring — several factors indicate another rough season could lie ahead. So far, the Northwest has experienced an above-

read >

Maryhill Museum of Art, with its hybrid of serious museum and mansion of oddities, is adding another dimension to its lofty perch high above the Columbia River Gorge. The museum opened its season on March 15 after its annual closure for the winter months. But a lot has been happening in those months: On May 12 and 13, Maryhill unveils its new Mary and Bruce Stevenson Wing, a roughly $10 million expansion project that is the biggest thing to happen to the museum in a long time. The addition will play the modern 21st century Felix Unger to the existing structure's 20th century Oscar

read >

The Bonneville Power Administration twice ordered Pacific Northwest wind farms to cut production in recent days because it has a surplus of power from hydroelectric dams. The agency, which manages much of the power grid in the Northwest, confirmed it issued the orders during the early morning hours of Sunday and Monday, when demand is low. The action rekindles a dispute from last year, when the agency curtailed wind turbines because the water from a large mountain snowpack left the region with more hydropower than the electrical grid could handle.     Read the full article published in the

read >

Every two years, NorthWestern Energy, the electricity supplier for most Bozeman-area residents, submits a Supply Procurement Plan to the Montana Public Service Commission. The plan provides a snapshot of the energy resources the utility currently uses, as well as a 20-year outlook on the utility’s future plans and operating conditions. If you care about consumer rates, reliable service, and the health of your community and environment, the plan is an important indicator of what you can expect from your electricity provider. Taken as a whole, the plan should give ratepayers confidence that

read >

RNP member, First Wind, recently celebrated the groundbreaking of its Palouse Wind Project in Whitman County, Washington. The project, expected to be fully operational by year end, will have the capability to produce 105 MWs of power. It is expected to create 100-200 jobs during construction and will generate approximately $12 million in property tax revenues over the next 20 years to benefit the community. Vestas, also an RNP member, will supply turbines for the Palouse project. Nearly all of the main components will be manufactured in the USA at Vestas’ production facilities in

read >

Renewable energy resources are an important part of Washington’s past, and are demonstrating new benefits that can positively shape our future economy, communities and environment. Taxpayers deserve the truth about energy sources and policies that shape how they are used. All energy resources used in the United States are the result of policy, so as we continue to invest in energy and optimize efficiency, we must determine which resources deliver the greatest benefits. Despite nearly a century of subsidies, fossil fuel costs are rising, as are fossil fuel industry profits, which posted

read >

Regional partners recently gathered for the Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC) Partners Summit to discuss and support the school's renowned Renewable Energy Technology (RET) program. The Summit was held on the banks of the great Columbia River at the Maryhill Museum of Art: a regional cultural treasure and unique renewable energy success story. One of the first RET programs officially approved by the American Wind Energy Association, the CGCC RET program offers curriculum and training experiences that shape the skilled workforce to match the region's renewable energy leadership

read >

Three out of four of my bosses in my cleantech career have been women, so it is no surprise to me to finally see growing attention being paid to women’s leadership in cleantech as executives, financiers, influencers as well as leading researchers, advocates, and policy leaders. Despite the small sample size, I would say the trend extends to the cleantech analyst space as well as Pike Research's very own Kerry-Ann Adamson, foremost fuel cell expert, who leads our Smart Energy practice where females make up 60 percent of the team. Female leadership is regularly in the spotlight these days

read >

The Pivotal Leaders program named its 2012 class Thursday, recognizing executives in the Pacific Northwest who've been singled out for their leadership in the cleantech industry. The new leaders, a who's-who list from Oregon and Washington, will join the program which has honored 47 executives and individuals since it was launched in 2010. The brainchild of Portland venture capital firm Pivotal Investments, Pivotal Leaders sets out to recognize and nurture executive talent in the region with an eye on developing a robust cleantech sector of job-providing businesses. "Our cleantech

read >

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first in a series of articles about businesses and industries introduced or with significant growth in northcentral Montana in the past decade.  Next month the Tribune looks at the Great Falls operations of the medical processing company, Centene. A decade ago wind energy proposals in Montana were working to attract investors. Today commercial wind parks have the capacity for 397.9 megawatts of electricity generation and two parks, Rim Rock in Toole and Glacier counties, and Spion Kop, between Geyser and Raynesford, with combined capacity to generate another 229

read >

While great strides have been made in recent years to facilitate the responsible development of new high voltage electrical transmission in the state, Montana has one transmission opportunity you probably haven’t heard about that should take priority ahead of all the rest. Officially known as the Montana-to-Washington Transmission System Upgrade, the proposed project would involve a partnership between the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), a federal agency, and NorthWestern Energy to re-conductor and reinforce the existing 500-kilovolt transmission line connecting Colstrip with

read >

Renewable Northwest Project is seeking contributions for the newly established Paul Woodin Memorial Scholarship, which will provide support for the education of Northwest students at the Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC) Renewable Energy Technology Program. Paul Woodin passed away on March 2, 2012, but his legacy as leading innovator, advocate and renewable energy facilitator is indelible among all who knew him. Paul was a U.S. Army Vietnam Veteran, and a veteran of the Northwest region’s now-vanished aluminum-smelting industry. He recognized the renewable energy industry as an

read >

In 1927, long before President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his Rural Electrification Administration (REA) brought electricity to the countryside, Marcellus Jacobs from eastern Montana invented the three-bladed wind turbine for electricity production. At night, the Jacobs family farm provided the best advertisement for the effectiveness of his new technology, basking alone in the glow of electric light against the dark night sky of Montana’s plains. By 1931, Marcellus and his brother Joe had founded “The Jacobs Wind Energy Company” and moved to Minneapolis to develop the business. Had it

read >

An Oregonian editorial recently asked: Why not let the wind tax credit expire? (Aug. 28) The answer: Letting the wind energy production tax credit die will hurt our economy, environment, energy needs and security at the local, state and national levels. Just look at what wind energy has done in Oregon. According to the Renewable Northwest Project, a renewable energy trade association, wind companies have invested more than $4.5 billion in Oregon. Wind energy is supporting 3,000 Oregon jobs and is providing millions in tax revenues for schools and public safety. Oregon's wind energy industry

read >

A generator that makes electricity from wave power is being prepared for installation some two and a half miles off the Oregon coast. Jason Busch, executive director of the Oregon Wave Energy Trust, discusses the project and why some Oregon residents are looking to the sea as a source of renewable energy.   Listen now: http://sciencefriday.com/segment/09/07/2012/oregon-power-project-needs-the-motion-of-the-ocean.html

read >

RNP Board Secretary and Climate Solutions Policy Director, KC Golden, has been honored with the prestigious Heinz Award for his work promoting clean energy solutions and sustainable prosperity!   Click here to learn more about his remarkable work: http://www.heinzawards.net/recipients/kc-golden

read >

NaturEner USA has given Toole and Glacier Counties, and the State of Montana, millions of reasons to celebrate. And when the tax bills go out again next month, there will be millions more coming into county and state coffers thanks to NaturEner’s nearly $1 billion investment in the wind energy business in north central Montana. “And we’re not done yet,” promised Greg Copeland, Director of Development for NaturEner USA. NaturEner hosted a celebration on Friday, Sept. 14, to kick-off the “thousands of hours of effort by hundreds of people” involved in making NaturEner’s Rim Rock Wind Farm a

read >

Submit Your Northwest Renewable Energy Fall Photo Today! Renewable Northwest Project is launching our Harvest Photo Contest! Post your Fall themed renewable energy photos to our FaceBook page for your chance to win RNP prizes and have your photo featured on our website. With autumn upon us, Renewable Northwest Project is calling on photographers of all kinds to join in celebrating beautiful views that make our region unique. Whether you're a smart phone guru, a hobby photographer, or a pro: have your camera on hand and creative juices fine-tuned. As you venture among farmlands, orchards

read >

Electric companies lauded by NW Energy Coalition for efficiencies achieved Regional electricity providers Avista Utilities and Inland Power & Light Co., both of Spokane, have recorded impressive accomplishments during the first reporting period for Washington's clean energy law, Initiative 937, says a primary sponsor of the law voters passed in 2006. That sponsor, NW Energy Coalition, says Avista had strong efficiency numbers and demonstrated hydropower's continuing role in the state's clean energy future by planning to meet 84 percent of its new renewable energy requirement for 2012

read >

It’s easy to forget sometimes that most governments are designed to move slowly and methodically, as to help maintain an equilibrium in society.  However, in the face of increasing signs of climate change, this slow pace can be thoroughly frustrating.  Whether your government’s reactions to global warming have made you wallow or feel uncharacteristically violent, often focusing on the good that is going on can help ease the tensions of what you think “should” be happening.  In this edition we’ll focus on women in the government positions who are working tirelessly to protect our planet. You

read >

"Last Tuesday morning, wind farms plugged into the Bonneville Power Administration's transmission network hit a new generation record of 4,289 megawatts. In fact, earlier the same morning, wind farms exceeded the output of the federal hydroelectric system -- the first time that wind energy surpassed water energy in the region." That paragraph from the article in The Oregonian notes a historic moment in Northwest power generation. Read the full details in the complete Oregonian article, including comments from Cameron Yourkowski, RNP's Senior Policy Manager.    read >

read >

THERE has been a lot of debate about the wisdom of government investment in clean energy. A guest column by Todd Myers [“Subsidizing green industry is like propping up a kid’s lemonade stand,” Opinion, Oct. 11] likened it to parents paying for all the lemons and sugar for their kid’s lemonade stand, and getting nothing in return. But in Washington, the actual examples of government investment in clean energy have delivered tangible economic and environmental benefits, especially to rural areas. Made in America, 58 elegant wind turbines are being installed near Oakesdale in Eastern Washington

read >

Thanks in large part to Anaconda’s mining and smelting legacy that goes back nearly 100 years, the Anaconda area benefits from unusually robust electrical infrastructure. In 2007, Anaconda-Deer Lodge County decided to target electrical generation as a key part of the county’s economic development strategy. We landed our first big electrical development project when NorthWestern Energy located the David Gates Generating Station just outside of Anaconda. The purpose of the Dave Gates generating station is to help integrate Montana’s high value wind energy into the state’s electrical system.

read >

When businesses harness Montana’s wind energy, private landowners, local and state governments and workers share the benefits. More than a dozen wind farms scattered across Montana have a total electricity generating capacity of 647 megawatts. They represent $1.3 billion in capital investment, creation of 1,319 construction jobs and 86 permanent jobs. Together, they paid $5.4 million in taxes in 2010. By 2018, these same wind farms will be paying $8.9 million in property taxes as abatements expire. Wind farms are helping Montana utilities, including NorthWestern Energy, meet a state law

read >

PORTLAND, Ore. - Members of one segment of the American workforce -- veterans -- are speaking out on behalf of wind energy development, in Oregon and across the country. Many military veterans say their experiences in the oil-rich Middle East have convinced them that the United States should be doing more to encourage alternative energy sources. Some, including Nate Sandvig of Portland, have chosen new careers in the field. The Army vet now combs the West on behalf of a French company, EDF Renewable Energy, evaluating potential wind farm sites. Sandvig says watching millions being spent on

read >

Energy is the issue of our time. No other issue will have a greater impact on our future, our air quality, our water resources, our economy, and our quality of life. The central question is whether we will shape our energy and economic future through sustained strategic investment and development, or whether we will allow other nations’ economic and energy policies to shape us. This is what Congress must ask itself as it again considers the renewal of the wind energy production tax credit (PTC). And for the future of wind energy in America, this question has become increasingly critical

read >

Gov. John Kitzhaber on Monday released the final version of his 10-Year Energy Action Plan, an outline for energy policy and focus for Oregon that sets out to improve energy efficiency across the state, boost clean energy development and accelerate the transition to a cleaner transportation system. The final version follows months of public comment and revision of the draft of the plan , which was released in June. The plan itself isn't much different from the draft plan, but the comment period and revisions helped hone the focus of the plan, according to those involved in the process. Some

read >

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Thursday upheld its year-ago ruling that found that the Bonneville Power Administration was discriminating against wind power produces in its plan to require wind farms to power down during times of oversupply of power due to high water runoff. In the ruling issued Thursday, FERC essentially said while BPA was doing better in its equitable handling of oversupply events, the administration still needs to come up a more fair cost-sharing plan for that protocol. In March, BPA filed a plan with FERC to compensate wind energy operators with a partial

read >

Note from RNP: This new year was made especially happy with the extension of the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) for renewable energy. The PTC has helped stimulate over $12 billion in clean energy investment in the region and create jobs and economic vitality in both rural and urban areas of the Northwest. We are especially grateful to Senator Max Baucus and to the members of the Northwest Congressional delegation for their hard work in support of this important policy. Below is the post from AWEA's blog, Into the Wind, on this extension:   WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 1 – Congress has

read >

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), a federal power marketing agency and utility system operator in the Pacific Northwest, notched a new system wind generation record of 4,344 megawatts (MW) on January 29 at 7:15 p.m. Pacific time. The new record surpasses BPA's old wind generation mark of 4,289 MW, and came in the middle of a period of more than 60 hours during which wind generation never fell below 3,400 MW. It was the latest in a series of new highs being set around the country as new wind farms installed last year begin churning out electricity. Under typical conditions, one MW of

read >

Rachel Shimshak, RNP's Executive Director, is featured in Climate Solutions' video for the their annual Harvesting Clean Energy conference. In "Harvesting Wind Power," Rachel speaks to the success of wind energy in Sherman County, Oregon and how it has helped to rebuild the economy for the rural community. Click here to watch the video.

read >

Proposed EIM Marks Positive Step for Renewables In an announcement this morning, PacifiCorp and the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) have taken the first steps towards creating a real-time energy imbalance market (EIM). States Rachel Shimshak, Renewable Northwest Project executive director, “This announcement marks a positive step forward in modernizing the Western electric grid and reducing costs to consumers. We commend PacifiCorp for their leadership and are optimistic that additional utilities will soon complete their cost-benefit analyses and pursue similar options to

read >

Following industry contractions, a general economic slump, national uncertainty, and a rollback of state tax credits, Oregon could be looking at an uptick in the renewable energy market as a number of utilities around the region look to power down coal plants. Rachel Shimshak, executive director of the Renewable Northwest Project, told the wind energy community Tuesday that a rejuvenated market could arise from the shutdown of 2,500 megawatts in coal plants in the near and not-so-near future. Shimshak and others offered their remarks at the annual American Wind Energy Association's Northwest

read >

In 2005, the Montana Legislature had the forethought to pass renewable energy portfolio standards that defined renewable energy and required state utilities to have a portion of their energy portfolio derived from these sources. The legislation started the portfolio requirements at 5 percent, increasing to 15 percent by 2015. Currently, the two largest public utility companies in Montana — NorthWestern Energy and Montana Dakota Utilities already are at or near that 15 percent level. However, since the legislation passed, legislators have been trying to retroactively add hydroelectric power

read >

Most companies on the Fortune 100 list have adopted policies to increase their use of renewable energy. The reason is simple: Renewable energy is good business. America’s largest, most-successful businesses know that renewable energy diversifies their energy supplies, which, among other benefits, can smooth out the volatile price-swings common among traditional energy sources. Renewables also reduce companies’ long-term operating costs. Montana has its own commitment to renewable energy. In 2005, the Legislature adopted a standard calling for 15 percent of the power distributed by major

read >

YOU might call it the power of the people. Washington voters in 2006 approved the state’s clean-energy law, Initiative 937, setting new standards for energy efficiency and use of renewable energy. It was a vote for clean energy, new economic investment and a brighter future. If you’re following the state legislative session, you might think voters were mistaken. Our legislators introduced more than 20 bills to amend or gut the law this year alone. But while some legislators seem to think I-937 is bad for Washington, I’m with the governor in recognizing that it’s good for the economy, good

read >

RNP applauds the Oregon House of Representatives for their passage this week of a bill that clarifies an element in the state’s Emissions Performance Standard (EPS). The EPS establishes the maximum amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that are permitted for electricity generating plants used to serve Oregon customers. Senate Bill 242, which passed by a 44-15 vote, fixes the language of the EPS to apply to out of state baseload electric plants, in addition to those located in Oregon. This clarification is significant because it helps to restrict utilities from making long-term commitments

read >

Seven years ago, Washington voters made the smart choice to invest in the state by supporting renewable energy. Washington voters passed Initiative 937, which created a clean energy standard. The law requires the state’s large electric utilities to incrementally increase their electricity from new renewable resources to 15 percent by 2020. This choice has paid off. Washington has seen more than $8 billion worth of investment in the renewable energy industry. This has resulted in thousands of new construction and operations jobs in rural parts of the state. This in turn has created more than

read >

The region’s leading renewable energy advocacy organization, Renewable Northwest Project, is pleased to announce that on May 15, BPA rate case parties came to a settlement agreement regarding the operation and rates for renewable energy resource integration in the Northwest. The settlement agreement will allow the parties to move forward in addressing integration issues in a constructive and collaborative manner. As operational tools and practices evolve, RNP remains committed to increasing opportunities for integrating more renewable resources more efficiently. Commented Cameron Yourkowski

read >

The Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Jon Wellinghoff, submitted his resignation via letter to President Barack Obama on May 29th, stating that he will stay in his position until a new commissioner is confirmed. Stated Rachel Shimshak, RNP’s executive director, of the Chairman’s announcement: “Chairman Wellinghoff has been an excellent leader for FERC and has played a critical role in shaping our nation’s evolving energy policy. He was clear on his priorities when he took on his role and he has followed through with his commitments. We are extremely grateful for

read >

Portland, Ore. – Yesterday the Portland General Electric Company (PGE) announced plans to construct a new wind farm in Southeastern Washington. In addition to a new natural gas plant in Boardman, Oregon, PGE has acquired the development rights to phase two of the Lower Snake River wind farm near Dayton, Washington, northeast of Walla Walla. The power plants represent PGE's choice for the least cost, least risk resources to help meet customer energy needs and the Oregon Renewable Portfolio Standard. Stated Rachel Shimshak, executive director of the Renewable Northwest Project, "There is a lot

read >

The region’s leading renewable energy advocacy group, Renewable Northwest Project (RNP), applauds Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper for signing Senate Bill 252 into law today. RNP encourages Northwest leaders to follow Colorado’s example towards building a cleaner energy future. The bill, “Setting Renewable Energy Standards for Rural Colorado,” increases the state’s renewable energy standard (RES) for rural electric co-operatives and for large electric associations that provide service to at least 100,000 meters. The bill expands the RES to 20% (from 10%) by 2020, while capping retail cost

read >

This week, FERC conditionally accepted ColumbiaGrid’s Order 1000 compliance filing, requiring additional improvements in two key areas: cost allocation and the measurement of benefits. Renewable Northwest Project applauds the efforts of ColumbiaGrid and it’s members to improve the regional transmission planning and cost allocation process. The filing represents a significant improvement from the status quo and improves the level of coordination, openness and transparency in the planning process. States Cameron Yourkowski, RNP’s senior policy manager, “Improving the transmission planning and

read >

As we celebrate Independence this July 4th, we are reminded of the value of America’s energy independence through renewable energy projects. In a new video, we share the experiences of veterans who served proudly in the military abroad and now serve and protect their country by developing clean, renewable energy. Happy 4th of July! Please watch and share the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqMg5yuMXWA&feature=youtu.be

read >

My family has been ranching near Springdale for five generations now. It’s never been easy. Like most Montana ranchers, I have a tough time making a living off the land. I have one untapped resource that could meaningfully improve the economics of my ranch. It’s the incessant wind. I could harness the wind’s power with turbines and sell the generated electricity. I’ve spent nearly 10 years working to develop a small wind-power facility on my land. The technology has advanced and the economics are promising. This is an achievable goal that will help support my ranch, add to the local economy

read >

GEYSER — Wind at NorthWestern Energy’s new 40-megawatt wind farm, called Spion Kop, is “phenomenal,” said John Hines, the regulated utility’s vice president of supply. “The wind here to date has been better than we had even hoped for,” Hines said at the site Tuesday, as a light breeze blew during an official dedication. “So we’re getting more energy produced here on a unit basis than any of our other contracts that we signed for wind in recent memory.” Officials with NorthWestern, turbine manufacturer General Electric, developer CompassEnergies and Judith Basin County gathered near a

read >

  Earlier this month, NorthWestern Energy officially dedicated its new 40-megawatt wind farm, Spion Kop, near Great Falls. The wind farm is already exceeding expectations and NorthWestern Energy deemed it a “phenomenal” energy resource providing cheap, clean energy for thousands of Montana households. Energy from the wind farm will cost approximately $54 per megawatt-hour, nearly $10 per megawatt-hour cheaper than NorthWestern’s Colstrip coal energy. Spion Kop also exemplifies Montana’s famously constant and energetic winds, exceeding the productivity of wind farms in other states. Spion Kop

read >

"Today, the Energy Department released two new reports highlighting record highs for U.S. wind energy production and manufacturing and demonstrating America’s continued leadership in this rapidly growing global industry. Wind energy is now the fastest growing source of power in the United States – representing 43 percent of all new U.S. electric generation capacity in 2012 and $25 billion in new investment. The reports were prepared in partnership with the Department’s Lawrence Berkeley and Pacific Northwest National Laboratories."   Read the entire article from the US Department of Energy

read >

Wind energy advocates have long touted Montana’s wind energy potential while wistfully eyeing markets outside the immediate region. Those markets are all but inaccessible, they say, because the state lacks the transmission capacity to reach them. A relatively simple upgrade of the Montana-to-Washington transmission line would greatly increase that capacity and allow the state to better live up to its wind energy potential – and just such an upgrade is currently under consideration by the Bonneville Power Administration. BPA, which is based in Portland, Ore., and is part of the U.S.

read >

In recent weeks, critics have taken renewed aim at a voter-approved state law requiring electric utilities to invest in new renewable-energy resources. The Energy Independence Act, they say, has significantly increased costs to consumers and has hurt the state’s economy. But as the chairman of the state commission responsible for ensuring that privately owned utilities comply with the act, I would like to share a different perspective. Earlier this month, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission issued a set of orders certifying that the state’s privately owned electric

read >

In an order issued on November 21st, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) agreed with the long-standing concerns raised by Renewable Northwest Project and its members with respect to the Bonneville Power Administration's (BPA) wind and solar integration policies. FERC rejected portions of BPA's Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT), including certain sections that pertain to BPA's provision of integration services for wind and other variable energy resources (VERs). FERC rejected BPA's proposed "Generator Imbalance Service" as giving BPA too much discretion in its provision of

read >

Today, the Department of Energy announced that Elliot Mainzer would officially take over as the Administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration. Renewable Northwest Project commends the DOE for its decision and moving the agency forward under Mainzer's leadership. Naming Mainzer the official BPA Administrator is the first step in moving past the recent upheaval over the BPA hiring practices and beginning to focus on the many important energy and environment issues before the agency. "Elliot is a very capable leader with firm understanding and experience of both policy and technical

read >

Montana has probably generated more electricity than we consume for nearly a century, ever since some of the state’s first hydroelectric dams were completed. Our excess electric generation is exported to neighboring states by wire, bolstering our economy and our standing as an energy state. Today we export about half of all of the electricity we generate, some from wind farms, some from hydroelectric dams, but most from the Corette and Colstrip coal plants. A large portion of the electricity produced from these coal plants is transmitted to Washington and Oregon. While the economic activity

read >

Over 400 well-wishers gathered on March 6th to celebrate Renewable Northwest Project’s 20th anniversary and to mark the region’s progress on new, clean, renewable resources. The diverse group of energy community participants, ranging from college students to senior utility officials, toasted the group’s successes and delighted in the “Wizard of Oz” theme for the evening by donning their ruby slippers and celebrating turning dreams into reality. In addition to celebrating 20 years of success, the group’s executive director Rachel Shimshak also announced a change to their name, dropping “

read >

In honor of Renewable Northwest’s 20th anniversary, several members of the Northwest delegation have sent congratulatory letters to mark the occasion. The letters celebrate Renewable Northwest’s multiple accomplishments in the region that have resulted in over 7,600 megawatts of new, renewable energy resources, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Wrote Senator Maria Cantwell, “Over the years, RNP has helped create a renewable energy community in the Northwest which has promoted solid policies to reduce barriers to new renewables, and allow clean energy to advance.” Senator Patty Murray

read >

Recently the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest report, this one detailing the current and expected impacts from climate change.The report is the latest in a series of undeniable signals that the U.S. and the world will and must get serious about addressing climate change and the carbon emissions that primarily drive it. Another signal comes from the Environmental Protection Agency’s expected greenhouse gas regulations on existing coal plants. With these signals coming from world agencies like the United Nations in the form of reports, or from U.S.

read >

We were extremely honored to receive the Western Regional Leadership Award from the U.S. Department of Energy at the WINDExchange Summit in Las Vegas this week. The award recognizes our work in the Northwest to expand market opportunities for responsible wind energy development. The Department chose to present Renewable Northwest with the award at this gathering that occurred just prior to the American Wind Energy Association's annual conference where wind energy stakeholders from across the country convened to discuss policy and network throughout the week.Here’s Rachel Shimshak receiving

read >

Last week Gov. Bullock started an important conversation on Montana’s energy future when he released a new report prepared by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The report outlines five scenarios for how the state could meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed carbon emissions reductions for 2030. The five scenarios take different paths to arriving at EPA’s proposed emissions rate for Montana, but all of the scenarios include increasing renewable energy, an important acknowledgement of the positive role renewable energy can play in supporting our economy

read >

  Two weeks is all the wind energy industry had in 2014 to start construction on new wind projects and qualify for the production tax credit (PTC), a key component to wind energy’s growth over recent years. While there was much joy that Congress included the PTC in its tax package, two weeks is barely enough time to buy holiday gifts for loved ones, let alone enough time for an energy development business to make plans and long-term investment decisions. Yet two weeks was enough time for Montanans to break ground on what promises to be Montana’s largest wind farm located near Bridger, in

read >

Wind energy contributed significantly more new electricity to power the nation than any other resource last year, according to recently released data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA predicts the trend will continue in 2015, expecting 9.8 gigawatts of wind energy to be developed nationwide or about half of the generating capacity to come online this year. The data and projections confirm what’s happening in Montana, where wind has been leading new electric energy development for the past 10 years. In 2005, Montana passed a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)

read >

In 2013 the competition among resources to supply the world with electric energy may have tipped inexorably toward clean energy. That was the year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), when more new clean energy capacity was constructed to serve electric demand than all new fossil fuels resources combined, worldwide. Going forward, “clean energy resources” (wind, solar, hydro and nuclear, according to BNEF’s definition) are expected to continue to accelerate their growth making up progressively more and more of new energy constructed each year. Wind and solar energy combined

read >

Over 100 attendees came to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Montana's Renewable Portfolio Standard at "Powering Up: Renewable Energy and Its Economic Benefits for Montana", held in Helena on May 20th. Click here for more event details, including video remarks from Senator Jon Tester : http://www.rnp.org/node/powering-conference-celebrating-10-years-montanas-rps   See below for the great media coverage of this event, with quotes by Senator Jon Tester, Governor Steve Bullock, and our own Jeff Fox: Great Falls Tribune: Wind rules in 10 years of alternative energy development"[Senator Jon] 

read >

Last month energy developers, construction contractors, agricultural producers, city and county officials, legislators, conservationists and more gathered to celebrate 10 years of Montana’s Renewable Portfolio Standard with Governor Bullock in Helena. The Renewable Portfolio Standard, or “RPS,” is the 2005 landmark legislation that launched renewable energy in Montana by requiring utilities to acquire 15 percent of their energy from new renewable energy resources like wind, solar, geothermal, and certain small hydro projects. The standard has been a huge success. Both NorthWestern Energy

read >

When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its final Clean Power Plan rules last week, the carbon emissions reduction goals for the nation were higher than expected — even more so for Montana. The overall goal is a nationwide carbon emissions reduction of 32 percent below 2005 levels, by 2030. Depending on how carbon pollution is calculated, Montana is responsible for cutting carbon emissions from our energy sector by 33 to 47 percent, by 2030. These goals are necessary to combat climate change and reduce harmful pollution in the nation’s air. Through heat rate improvements

read >

“We have incredible potential for wind energy.” – Gov. Steve Bullock, at the first ever Montana Wind Forum, sponsored by the American Wind Energy Association, on Sept. 9 in Bozeman. To date, Montana has developed 665 megawatts (MW) of wind energy, supporting hundreds of well-paying jobs in the state and creating $1.2 billion in capital investment. Montana landowners currently receive approximately $2 million annually in land lease payments, and wind energy provided 6.5 percent of all electricity production in the state in 2014. Nationally, wind supplies nearly 5 percent of electricity

read >

Recent weeks and months have proved to be an exciting time for solar energy in Montana. Homeowners, businesses, electric cooperatives, and large utilities have all shown increasing interest in solar at all scales as prices have declined by more than 80 percent over five years. Rooftop, community, and utility-scale solar energy have all been gaining momentum in Montana over the past year, suggesting a future where much more of Montana’s energy needs can be met with the sun. Take rooftop solar for example. The industry has shown consistent double-digit growth over recent years in the amount of

read >

This is a great day for renewable energy in America! Coming on the heels of the Paris Agreement, we applaud the news of Congress passing an omnibus appropriations bill that includes extension of both the solar Investment Tax Credit and the wind Production Tax Credit through 2019. This puts an end to years of policy uncertainty and ensures five years of predictability that will encourate investment in and development of renewable energy throughout the country and here in the Northwest.

read >

The worldwide move toward cleaner energy continued to gain momentum in 2015. Actions at the state, national and international level are all sending an undeniable message that the rise of clean energy is here to stay. As usual, states are leading on clean energy. In May, Hawaii became the first state in the nation to require that all electricity be sourced from renewable resources by 2045. In June, Vermont set its renewable energy requirement at 75 percent by 2032. Perhaps of most economic significance, California, the world’s eighth largest economy, upped its renewable energy requirement to

read >

Some great things happening in Oregon that reflect the spirit of collaboration and compromise demonstrated recently in Paris. In recent weeks, a diverse group of utility, energy industry, advocacy organizations and community groups worked together to develop the next generation of energy policy for Oregon, transitioning Oregon away from coal towards more clean, renewable energy. The result is a 2016 legislative proposal that would move Oregon off coal-fired generation and for PGE and Pacific Power, double Oregon’s renewable energy generation under the Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50%. It

read >

"If Oregon’s utilities and clean energy advocates have their way, the state will soon be rapidly accelerating its transition toward a clean energy economy. This month, the Oregon legislature is considering HB 4036, a comprehensive plan crafted by a broad set of stakeholders that would double the state’s commitment to renewable energy, lock in cost-effective efficiency investments, and completely phase out the use of coal as an electricity source. It’s an ambitious and achievable proposal that raises the bar in defining what it means to be a global clean energy and climate leader." That's the

read >

"Ten years ago, Washington state voters, recognizing the imperative need to address climate change and cleaner air, passed Initiative 937, which requires the state’s electrical utilities to use renewable resources for a portion of the electricity they provide to their customers. Many utilities, public and private, balked. But since passage those utilities have been able to meet the initiative’s requirements." As we hit the 10 year anniversary of I-937, Washington's renewable energy standard, we need to be looking to the next phase of our energy future. The Evertett Herald Editorial Board

read >

Please join us this week, while we celebrate Independence Day, to learn more about the opportunities and successes our nation’s veterans are finding through jobs in wind and solar. Wind Jobs Help Deliver Home-Grown EnergyNextEra Energy Resources’ employees with military experience continue to serve our country by delivering clean, home-grown, renewable wind energy to communities across the U.S. and North America. Check out their video.    

read >

Portland, OR – Regional renewable energy advocates today reacted with cautious optimism to Bonneville Power Administration’s (BPA) FY 2010-11 Final Record of Decision (ROD) concerning the rate BPA will charge for integrating wind into the regional grid, and BPA’s June 16th letter detailing future commitments related to operational changes.   "We are pleased that BPA has recognized the recent improvements in wind scheduling accuracy and has lessened their Wind Integration Rate proposal accordingly, from $12/MWh initially, to approximately $5.70/MWh," said Rachel Shimshak, Director of the

read >

Olympia, WA — Businesses, consumers, community leaders and other renewable energy advocates have joined with Washington’s entire state environmental community in urging House members to reject a bill, passed by the Senate Tuesday night, that would cut the voter-endorsed renewables standard up to 75% or more in 2020.   By gutting the Clean Energy Act’s renewable energy standard, ESSB 5840 would discourage renewable-energy investments in this state. Those investments, spurred by voter passage of the Act – Initiative 937 – in 2006, are already providing much-needed jobs, farm income and local

read >

EverPower Wind Holdings Company announces that it plans to develop a 120 megawatt wind power project on timberlands leased from Weyerhaeuser Company four miles outside Doty, Washington. The “Coyote Crest Wind Park,” will be the first utility-scale wind farm built in a coastal mountain range of the Pacific Northwest. The Coyote Crest Wind Park will feature up to 50 wind turbine generators generating enough clean, renewable electricity to annually supply approximately 25,000 Northwest homes.   “EverPower is delighted to be moving forward with our first Northwest wind project," said Jim

read >

The Renewable Northwest Project (RNP) today urged the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) to include a comprehensive strategy to promote regional acquisition of safe, clean, renewable energy resources in its Business Plan. Such action would ensure a sound energy future for the people of the Northwest. Renewable energy resources include solar, wind and geothermal.   Rachel Shimshak, director of RNP, speaking at a public meeting on the Business Plan at the Portland Convention Center said, "Despite the requirement in the 1980 Power Act to prioritize renewable resources, Bonneville's 231-page

read >

Portland, OR -- A coalition of national environmental groups is targeting the Bonneville Power Administration in a campaign to encourage the federal power agency to increase its strategic focus on renewable energy options in the Pacific Northwest.   The campaign, led by the Renewable Northwest Project, is centering on the fact that Bonneville’s recently released draft Business Plan pointedly leaves out any strategic reference to renewable energy resources.   In a letter to Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary, released Tuesday, the groups charged that Bonneville’s Business Plan “barely mentions

read >

Senator Mark Hatfield (R-Oregon), and Congressmen Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Jim McDermott (D-Washington) are urging BPA Administrator Randy Hardy to include a meaningful strategy for developing renewable resources such as wind, solar, and geothermal in its final Business Plan.   In letters written to Randy Hardy over the last month, each Member applauded BPA’s current wind and geothermal pilot projects, but noted the startling lack of attention given to renewables in the draft Business Plan.   In his November 8, 1994, letter, Congressman McDermott wrote, “There is little to no mention of them

read >

A national post-election opinion survey released today on federal energy budget priorities reveals strong and broad bipartisan support for continued federal funding of energy efficiency and renewable energy research programs. The survey, conducted by Republican pollster Vince Breglio, found that 64 percent of Americans (Rep.-60%, Dem.-66, Ind.-67%), and 68 percent of those in the Northwest, believe that renewable energy resources, like solar, wind, geothermal, biofuels, and hydroelectric should be the highest, or second highest, priority for continued federal funding of energy research and

read >

A Better Idea: Groups Propose BPA Financial Security Plan to Cut Costs, Keep BPA Competitive, Pay Off Debts, Protect Forward-Looking Investments   An orderly financial security plan for the Bonneville Power Administration was proposed today by a coalition of consumer, utility, and environmental organizations seeking continued BPA commitment to forward-looking investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy resources, and wild salmon restoration, the core of BPA’s mission.   The plan was developed to counter BPA’s proposed $250 million per year budget cutting strategy, announced Friday,

read >

All four Northwest states received high marks in renewable energy use, according to a new study titled Renewable Energy Sourcebook: A Primer for Action released nationally by Public Citizen, and in Oregon, by the Renewable Northwest Project (RNP). Additionally, the report shows that Northwest renewable electric resource potential is over seven times our current total electricity consumption.   “Public Citizens' study shows that new renewable energy technologies are moving from the laboratory into the field, as a wide range of utilities are looking to wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass

read >

A regional coalition of environmental groups and energy developers applauded the July 11, 1995 vote of the Snohomish Public Utility District (SnoPUD) Commissioners to move forward on investing in a wind energy project in the Columbia Gorge. The Commissioners adopted an unanimous recommendation of their Citizens’ Advisory Committee, and directed their staff to negotiate a contract with KENETECH Wind power for 10 aMW of energy from the Columbia Hills wind project.   “Commissioners Vaughn and Moon demonstrated their leadership on clean energy with this vote,” said Rachel Shimshak, director of

read >

regional advocacy organization today cheered the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), PacifiCorp, and the Eugene Water and Electric Board’s (EWEB) commitment to the region’s first commercial-scale wind energy project. A letter, signed by the parties today, allows the Foote Creek Rim wind project, located in Carbon County, Wyoming, to move forward.   “This is a green-letter day for the region,” stated Rachel Shimshak, director of the Renewable Northwest Project, a regional organization promoting environmentally responsible renewable energy resources, based in Portland, Oregon. “BPA,

read >

A regional advocacy organization today cheered Portland General Electric’s (PGE) commitment to Oregon’s first commercial-scale wind energy project. PGE and KENETECH Wind power, the project developer, today signed a power purchase agreement for a 25 MW wind plant to be located in Umatilla County, Oregon.   “PGE has demonstrated its leadership and made an investment for our future by committing to this wind project,” said Rachel Shimshak, director of the Renewable Northwest Project, a regional organization promoting environmentally responsible renewable energy resources, based in Portland,

read >

A regional advocacy organization today cheered the unanimous decision by the Salem Electric Board to invest in a substantial amount of non-hydro renewable energy.   “Salem has demonstrated its leadership and pledged to make an investment for our future with this vote,” said Rachel Shimshak, director of the Renewable Northwest Project, a regional organization promoting environmentally responsible renewable energy resources, based in Portland, Oregon. “Investing in renewable energy sources, such as wind, geothermal and solar, will benefit both the economy and the environment in the Northwest.

read >

Portland, OR -- A regional renewable energy advocacy organization welcomed the decision by the Salem Electric Cooperative (Salem) to purchase non-hydro renewable energy to meet a substantial portion of its customer load. “Salem has demonstrated their leadership and made an investment in the region’s sustainable energy future through this action. It represents a meaningful step toward developing the Northwest’s significant clean energy resources -- one that will help maintain our quality of life,” said Rachel Shimshak, director of the Renewable Northwest Project.   Salem’s board of directors

read >

A regional renewable energy advocacy organization today expressed disappointment with Tuesday’s rejection of a wind plant proposal by the Snohomish County Public Utility District Commissioners. The 2-1 vote on the proposal was followed by a resolution directing the staff to look into other renewable and clean energy options during the next two months.   “We are extremely disappointed with the Commission’s vote on the wind project, but we remain hopeful that the Commissioners will find a way to accept the repeated, unanimous recommendations of their Citizens’ Committee to invest in clean,

read >

A renewable energy advocacy organization today released a report detailing strong, diverse, and consistent regional and nationwide public support for environmental preservation, conservation and renewable energy resources.   This report compiles information from more than a dozen surveys and focus groups performed over the past two years on behalf of Northwest public and private utilities, public interest organizations, and renewable energy developers.   “This report demonstrates that there is strong support for clean energy across the board, from homeowners to businesses, across three

read >

A regional advocacy organization today praised the passage and signing of HB 2290, the Washington State sales tax exemption for wind and solar energy. The exemption is critical to developing environmentally responsible energy resources, and will provide both economic development benefits and a cleaner energy future.   “With the passage of this bill, Washington is demonstrating its leadership and commitment to a clean, renewable future,” said Rachel Shimshak, director of the Renewable Northwest Project, a regional organization promoting environmentally responsible renewable energy resources,

read >

Many of the region’s leading environmental and consumer groups today announced a formal agreement with Portland General Electric (PGE) and ENRON Corp. that details a host of conservation, renewable energy, low-income and consumer protection commitments to be implemented upon the completion of the PGE/ENRON merger. With these commitments from the companies came support from the public interest parties for the PGE/ENRON merger.   The groups noted that, while the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) still needs to address some important rate issues related to the proposed merger, the signed

read >

Portland, OR--Renew America announced today that the Renewable Northwest Project (RNP) will be included in its Environmental Success Index, an annual publication identifying programs throughout the nation that provide innovative solutions to environmental challenges.   Debbie Sliter, Renew America’s Executive Director notes, “The Environmental Success Index provides the environmental movement with what it most desperately needs: a forum for sharing information. By recognizing these innovative programs, we motivate the individuals involved to continue their efforts and provide others with

read >

Renewable energy advocates today enthusiastically praised the first commercial-scale wind project to serve the Northwest at a ground breaking ceremony in Arlington, Wyoming. The Renewable Northwest Project, the region’s leading renewable energy advocacy organization, underscored the leadership provided by PacifiCorp, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), and the Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB) in putting together the 41.4 megawatt wind facility being developed by Sea West and Tomen Power Corp.   “To quote a great American philosopher, ‘How sweet it is,' " said Rachel Shimshak,

read >

The Renewable Northwest Project has announced three winners of the group’s first-ever Clean Energy Award.   The regional renewable energy advocacy group recognized Dennis Steinberg of PacifiCorp, Ken Beeson of the Eugene Water and Electric Board and George Darr of the Bonneville Power Administration for their work on the Wyoming Wind Energy Project. Located on blustery Foote Creek Rim between Laramie and Rawlins, the project will be home to 69 wind energy turbines capable of generating up to 41.4 megawatts of electricity. That’s enough power to serve 15,000 to 20,000 customers.   Rachel

read >

Olympia, WA - Renewable energy got a boost today when Washington Governor Gary Locke signed into law a bill requiring Washington utilities to off "net metering" to small-scale solar, wind, and hydroelectric systems.   "Net metering" allows customers who own small renewable energy systems to offset electricity purchases from their utility by running their meter backwards while the renewable sources are at work. At the end of each billing period, consumers pay for only the "net" energy purchased from the utility.   "This is a great day for everyone who believes that clean, renewable energy is

read >

The Renewable Northwest Project today joined Senator Mark Hatfield, leading environmental groups and the Bonneville Power Administration in announcing the establishment of the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. The Foundation will receive money from the sale of environmentally superior resources endorsed by the environmental groups, and it will invest that money in additional fish and wildlife restoration efforts and new, non-hydro renewable resources.   "This innovative effort will help customers make a choice and make a difference with their energy dollars," said Rachel Shimshak,

read >

To mark the 25th Anniversary of the OPEC oil embargo, and remind citizens of the risks of over-dependence on fossil fuels, the Renewable Northwest Project today released "The Top Ten Things You Can Do For Energy Security." The list includes actions that will save energy, diversify our electricity system, reduce global warming gases, and create a more sustainable energy future for the Northwest.   "Despite the pain of long lines at the gas station and skyrocketing prices during the oil crises of the 1970s, the United States uses more foreign oil today than the country used in 1973," said

read >

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Renewable Northwest Project (RNP), Oregon HEAT, and the Land and Water Fund of the Rockies (LAW Fund) have initially reviewed the testimony filed Friday by Scottish Power/PacifiCorp in the merger proceeding before the Oregon Public Utility Commission. While none of these organizations has yet taken a position for or against the merger, we are encouraged by many of the consumer and environmental proposals contained in the testimony.   Specifically, we are heartened by the commitment of Scottish Power to: 1) Invest in 50 MW of additional renewable

read >

Renewable energy got a boost today when the Oregon House voted 58-0 to concur with the Senate version of House Bill 3219, a law requiring Oregon utilities to offer "net metering" to small-scale solar, wind and hydroelectric systems. Fuel cells can also qualify. The Senate passed HB 3219 yesterday by a 27-0 vote.   HB 3219 is supported by the Renewable Northwest Project and the Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association.   "Net metering" allows customers who own small renewable energy systems or fuel cells to offset electricity purchases from their utility by running their meter backwards

read >

The Renewable Northwest Project today praised the new electricity restructuring law as "balanced and good for the environment." SB 1149, signed into law by Governor Kitzhaber on Friday, calls for reserving three percent of utility revenues to invest in new renewable resources, such as wind, solar, and geothermal, energy conservation programs and low-income weatherization. It also allows residential customers to choose green power, and calls for disclosure of power sources and their environmental impacts to consumers.   "This law will protect consumers, restore programs that benefit the

read >

The Renewable Northwest Project today praised the decision made by the Oregon Public Utility Commission to approve the merger of Oregon-based PacifiCorp and Scottish Power of the United Kingdom.   Scottish Power has made several important environmental commitments as a stipulation to OPUC approval, one being the development of 50MW of additional renewable resources over the next five years throughout the region.   "We are looking forward to working with the company and the Commission to follow through on this commitment," said Rachel Shimshak, Director of the Renewable Northwest Project.  

read >

Renewable energy got a boost Monday, when the Oregon Public Utility Commission approved Portland General Electric’s (PGE) green power tariffs. The approval allows PGE to sell environmentally friendly power to its customers.   The Renewable Northwest Project, an organization consisting of environmental groups and energy developers that promotes renewable energy projects in the Northwest, praised the approval. "For the first time, all PGE customers will be able to choose a renewable power product," said Peter West, Renewable Northwest Project’s Senior Policy Analyst. "When people choose green

read >

In a stunning and timely action, PacifiCorp Power Marketing today announced the purchase of the entire output of the proposed 300 megawatt Stateline wind energy project to be built next year in Walla Walla County, WA, and Umatilla County, Oregon. When completed, the Stateline project will serve over 70,000 households.   The region’s leading renewable advocacy organization responded to the news jubilantly.   "This is a substantial, meaningful action that demonstrates PacifiCorp’s commitment to clean energy," said Rachel Shimshak, director of the Renewable Northwest Project (RNP). "At a time

read >

Environmental groups today celebrated three Washington companies for their purchase of renewable energy to serve 100% of their energy needs. Batdorf and Bronson Coffee Roasters, Global Energy Concepts LLC, and Xantrex Technology, Inc. received awards from regional environmental groups for their actions at an event held at Snohomish Public Utility District.   "These companies are demonstrating their leadership with these stunning purchases of clean power," said Rachel Shimshak, director of the Renewable Northwest Project, a regional environmental organization promoting renewable energy in the

read >

The Renewable Northwest Project, an environmental organization supporting renewable energy in the region, commends the Port of Portland for purchasing a significant portion of their electric load from renewable resources. The Port is meeting the Clean Energy Challenge, standards set by regional environmental groups for meaningful commitments to green power purchases by businesses and government agencies. Others meeting the Challenge include Multnomah County, Lewis and Clark College, Norm Thompson and Ashforth Pacific.   "Purchasing power from renewable energy has long term benefits for the

read >

In response to the Bush Administration's recent decisions to withdraw from the Kyoto treaty and forestall policies regulating carbon dioxide emissions, twenty-seven environmental groups in the Northwest sent a letter to President Bush. The text of the letter follows.     President George W. Bush The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington DC 20500   Dear President Bush:   We are writing to convey our strongest possible objection to your recent decisions to forestall regulation of carbon dioxide and to withdraw from the international treaty to reduce greenhouse gases. As the leading

read >

According to a new report released today by the Renewable Northwest Project (RNP), the amount of "green power" sold through utility programs in the region has doubled since 2000. Approximately 47.1 million kilowatt hours (kWh) are now sold through green power programs in the region per year, compared to last year’s 23.5 million kWh estimate. In addition, the number of participants in such programs doubled from 9,300 to 18,675.   Entitled "Powerful Choices II: A Survey of Retail Green Power Programs in the Pacific Northwest," the report is an update of the original survey of utility green

read >

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), and SeaWest WindPower, Inc., today announced the execution of an agreement under which Bonneville will purchase power from a wind energy project being constructed by SeaWest. The project is located near the town of Condon, in central Oregon, south of the Columbia River Gorge. BPA will purchase and market the entire output of the project over a 20-year period.   At 49.8 megawatts, the Condon Wind Energy Project will provide clean, renewable electricity while increasing local employment and investment in a rural and economically challenged area of

read >

Portland, OR – The amount of "green power" purchased by retail customers in the Northwest more than tripled since last year, according to a new report released today by the Renewable Northwest Project (RNP). Entitled, Powerful Choices, the report summarizes the retail green power programs that are allowing customers to invest directly in a clean energy future. Throughout the Northwest, in markets both urban and rural, twenty-three Northwest utilities are offering customers a choice of an environmentally preferred power source – wind power, solar power, landfill gas power, or low-impact hydro

read >

Portland, OR – The Renewable Northwest Project (RNP) today applauded an important decision for wind power development in the Northwest issued by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). In a final decision, BPA Administrator Stephen Wright exempted wind power resources from a penalty rate applicable to users of BPA’s transmission system in the Transmission Generation Imbalance Service Rate Proposal (GI-02-A-01).   Under its Generation Imbalance Service Rate (GIS Rate), BPA’s Transmission Business Line (TBL) charges a $.1 (100 mills) per kilowatt hour minimum penalty rate when generation

read >

Dallas and Portland, OR – Kinko’s, Inc., Portland General Electric (PGE), Pacific Power and Green Mountain Energy Company today announced that Kinko’s has become Oregon’s largest green power purchaser. Kinko’s has agreed to buy renewable energy for 10 Oregon branches served by PGE and Pacific Power for an expected total of 1.5 million kilowatt hours (kWh) annually – about the same energy required to power 125 average homes in the Pacific Northwest for a year. A purchase of this size offsets carbon dioxide emissions as much as not driving the average car more than 372,000 miles during the

read >

The region’s leading renewable advocacy group today cheered the announcement from Vestas Wind Systems A/S that they will locate a wind turbine manufacturing facility in Portland, Oregon.   "This is a very big deal," commented Rachel Shimshak, Director of the Renewable Northwest Project. "The emergence of a strong renewable energy market in the region, along with the leadership of our local officials in supporting clean energy technologies, has combined to make Oregon the right place to locate this wind turbine manufacturing facility."   The Vestas plant will employ up to 1000 people and is

read >

It is a great honor to participate in the dedication of the Stateline wind project. We have seen this project germinate from an idea in FPL’s head, and grow to a partnership with PacifiCorp Power Marketing (PPM), and from there into the largest new wind project in the western United States. The region is proud to host this facility that is serving over 65,000 customers right here in the Northwest with home grown clean energy.   FPL and PPM have earned the support of the local communities and state and local agencies involved in siting the project. Together, they have helped shape this

read >

The Renewable Northwest Project (RNP) praised the Nine Canyon Wind Project at a ground-breaking ceremony held today at the project site in southwestern Washington State.   As the region’s leading renewable energy advocacy organization, RNP enthusiastically applauds the project, which will use 37 windmills to generate enough energy to serve 12,000 households. Nine Canyon is sponsored by Energy Northwest and is being built by Renewable Energy Systems. The project is expected to be operational by late 2002.   Sonja Ling, Policy Associate for RNP, commented, "It's great to see unlikely players

read >

Kinko’s, Inc. has teamed with Puget Sound Energy, Seattle City Light and Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) to convert some of the energy demands for Kinko’s® Puget Sound-area stores to green power.   Twenty-nine Kinko’s locations will purchase from five to 25 percent of their power in the form of renewable energy for an average of more than 626,400 kilowatt hours (kWh) annually. A purchase of this size offsets carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions as much as not driving the average car almost 940,000 miles during the same period. This is also the equivalent of planting 174 acres of

read >

Richland, WA – Energy Northwest’s Executive Board voted unanimously on April 30, 2003, to approve the issuance of municipal bonds to finance the 15.6-megawatt Phase II expansion of Nine Canyon Wind Project, located near Kennewick, Washington.   The bond sale took place on April 29 in the amount of $21,720,000. These are tax-exempt, AAA insured, 20-year municipal bonds, designed to reach maturity at the same time as the 22-year bonds that were issued to finance the original 48.1-megawatt wind project. Interest on the bonds will be an average of 4.92 percent.   The Phase II expansion will

read >

Portland, OR – The Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) and the Renewable Northwest Project (RNP) today celebrate a commitment by the law firm Stoel Rives LLP to purchase Green Tags (also know as Tradable Renewable Energy Credits) in support of clean renewable energy. The purchase represents a substantial amount of electricity produced from clean renewable energy resources (such as wind) on behalf of Stoel Rives' offices located in: Portland Ore, Vancouver Wash, Seattle Wash, Salt Lake City Utah, Boise Idaho, San Francisco Calif, Sacramento Calif and Tahoe City Calif.   "Stoel Rives

read >

Spokane, WA — According to a report released today by the Washington Public Interest Research Group (WashPIRG), energy efficiency and wind power have the potential to provide major economic benefits for Washington state while helping to ensure a more reliable and affordable energy supply. The report, entitled Energy for Washington’s Economy, Economic Development from Energy Efficiency and Wind Power in Washington, examines the economic impact of meeting the state’s projected energy demand by increasing investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies instead of building new

read >

Wahington, D.C. – Obama Administration officials today released a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by nine Federal Departments and Agencies to make it faster and simpler to build transmission lines on Federal lands. The goal of the agreement is to speed approval of new transmission lines, reduce expense and uncertainty in the process, generate cost savings, increase accessibility to renewable energy and jumpstart job creation.   As President Obama announced in his speech yesterday, the agreement “will help break down the bureaucratic barriers that currently make it slow and costly to

read >

The Oregon Department of Energy filed temporary administrative rules for the Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) program. As directed by Governor Kulongoski on August 7, 2009, the new rules involve changes to issues of multiple applications, project cost overruns, taxes owed to the state, enhanced accountability for jobs created and other topics.    The new rules will affect all tax credit applications that have not been issued a precertification letter on or after November 3, 2009.   The rule changes are designed to eliminate the practice of multiple applications for the same or similar

read >

Portland, OR – An agreement to bring 41 megawatts of clean wind power online was signed today by PacifiCorp, the Energy Trust of Oregon (ETO) and Eurus Combine Hills. It is the first wind deal signed by the ETO under the provisions of the system benefit charge instituted by Oregon’s electricity restructuring (SB1149). PacifiCorp is purchasing the wind power for its Pacific Power and Utah Power customers.   In addition, this is PacifiCorp’s first direct, long-term wind power purchase contract from an Oregon project. Scheduled to be operational by the end of 2003, the new Eurus Combine Hills I

read >

Pocatello, ID -- Kinko's, Inc. and Idaho Power Company today announced that three Kinko's® locations served by Idaho Power have switched to renewable energy. This "green power" deal enables Kinko's Boise and Pocatello branches to purchase a portion of their electricity from renewable resources.   The new agreement is expected to result in Kinko's purchasing more than 185,000-kilowatt hours (kWh) of renewable energy each year. The reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions resulting from this purchase is equivalent to taking three vehicles off the road.   "Reducing our impact on the

read >

Boise, ID – PacifiCorp customers can reap economic benefits from investing in small-scale renewable energy systems, thanks to action taken Friday by Idaho’s Public Utilities Commission.   PacifiCorp’s new net metering standard allows residential customers with solar, small wind, or small hydro systems (up to 25 kilowatts) to easily connect with PacifiCorp’s electric distribution system. Large commercial and irrigation customers may hook up to 100 kilowatts into the system. Net-metered customers may use the electricity they generate and receive credit from PacifiCorp for any excess power

read >

Portland, OR­ -- Audubon Society of Portland announced today that it is now purchasing electricity that is made from 100 percent renewable sources at its main and Marmot campuses. The Audubon Society of Portland also announced a new member outreach program, in agreement with Renewable Northwest Project, Green Mountain Energy Company, Pacific Power and Portland General Electric (PGE), to spur additional signups for renewable energy.   By purchasing 100 percent renewable energy from PGE, the Audubon Society of Portland is preventing more than 14 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) production (nearly

read >

Ellensburg, WA -- Zilkha Renewable Energy announced plans for a new 165 megawatt (MW) wind farm today. The "Wild Horse Wind Power Project" is planned for development on property along Whiskey Dick Ridge north of Ryegrass. The Wild Horse Wind Power Project, named for a spring on the remote ranch, joins two other wind farm projects under active development in Kittitas County.   Caurus Power, Inc. a California-based wind power firm, secured rights to develop a 5,000 acre site in 2001. Caurus Wind and Zilkha recently finalized plans to develop the property. "We are delighted with this prospect

read >

Klamath Falls, OR -- The Running Y Resort is the latest in a series of southern Oregon businesses to make a significant renewable power purchase. Located near Klamath Falls, Ore., just north of the Oregon/California border, the resort is buying Blue Sky wind power, Pacific Power’s voluntary wind energy initiative. The Running Y signed up to buy 112 blocks of Blue Sky each month, representing the amount of electricity used by eleven average Oregon households.   "Purchases made by commercial customers such as The Running Y drive the renewable energy market forward, and they should be commended

read >

Portland, OR - Pacific Power has selected 3 Phases Energy Services to provide renewable energy supply and marketing services for Pacific Power's Renewable Usage and Habitat green energy options starting Jan. 1, 2004. The selection will have no price impact on customers purchasing either option, nor will it affect Pacific Power's Blue Sky wind energy program.   "For Pacific Power customers who want to build the market for new renewables, 3 Phases Energy provides an improved, local mix of renewable energy for exactly the same price," explained Amanda Nelson, Pacific Power's vice president of

read >

The amount of "green power" purchased by retail customers in the Northwest has increased by 88% from last year, according to a new report released today by the Renewable Northwest Project (RNP). Entitled, Powerful Choices, the report summarizes the retail green power programs that are allowing customers to invest directly in a clean energy future. Throughout the Northwest, in markets both urban and rural, thirty-five Northwest utilities are offering customers a choice of an environmentally preferred power source – wind power, solar power, landfill gas power, or low-impact hydro power.  

read >

Construction is now complete on the expansion of Nine Canyon Wind Project, southeast of Kennewick, Wash. The project is owned and operated by Energy Northwest, a state chartered joint operating agency headquartered in Richland, Wash.   The 12 new wind turbines officially entered commercial operation at noon on December 31, 2003. Power generation began at Phase II in late September 2003.   The new turbines join 37 others that have been producing renewable energy since September 2002. Each of the 49 turbines, manufactured by the Danish firm Bonus A/S, have the capacity to produce 1.3 megawatts

read >

Mt Hood, OR - In partnership with Portland General Electric and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort will purchase enough clean, renewable wind energy to run a major chairlift at Meadows and the only chairlift at Cooper Spur Mountain Resort.   By purchasing 334 of PGE's Clean Wind Green Tags supplied by the BEF, Meadows will support generation of 334,000 kilowatt-hours of wind energy. That's enough green power to run its Shooting Star Express chairlift this season. That equals 6.7% of the company's average annual power consumption, and will prevent production

read >

Portland, OR – The Bonneville Power Administration has found a way to make the wind more useful for generating electricity year round. The program is a major step toward advancing wind generation in the Northwest.   With the signing of a contract with the Cowlitz County Public Utility District in Longview, Wash., BPA introduces a new service to help the region’s publicly owned utilities bring wind-generated power to their customers. Cowlitz is buying two megawatts of power from the Nine Canyon wind energy project operated by Energy Northwest near Kennewick, Wash. Because the wind produces a

read >

Portland, OR -- The Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) and the Renewable Northwest Project (RNP) today announced a commitment by the professional services firm David Evans and Associates, Inc., (DEA) to purchase Green Tags (also know as Tradable Renewable Credits) in support of clean renewable energy. The purchase represents a substantial amount of electricity produced from clean renewable energy resources (such as wind and solar energy) on behalf of DEA's 17 offices located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington.   "Our firm strives to create a balance between the

read >

Spokane, WA -- Fairchild Air Force Base is giving Northwest wind energy a big boost and meeting its own renewable energy goals at the same time. The Air Force is now buying enough renewable power to meet 100 percent of the electrical load for the military base.   Fairchild’s purchase is a combination of renewable energy and Renewable Energy Certificates, otherwise known as Green Tags. The tags are offered by the Bonneville Power Administration as a way to offset the costs of renewable energy development and production in the Pacific Northwest. Fairchild AFB requires about 7.5 average

read >

The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) approved new noise standards yesterday for wind power projects in Oregon. At a meeting in Hermiston, the EQC granted final approval to amend Oregon’s existing noise rules with provisions specifically addressing wind projects.   "Oregon’s current noise rules were written long before commercial scale wind was contemplated in our state, and they unnecessarily restricted the growth of Oregon’s wind industry." said Ann English Gravatt, senior policy associate of the Renewable Northwest Project. Wind power projects have unique siting issues that

read >

Bainbridge Island, WA - Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI) announced today that it has purchased Green Tags from Bonneville Environmental Foundation sufficient to offset 100% of its annual electricity usage at its administrative offices, located on Bainbridge Island, Washington. The purchase of Green-e certified wind and solar power certificates for the administrative offices completes BGI's commitment to renewable energy.   BGI also recently announced that its monthly classroom sessions will be held at IslandWood, a Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) gold-certified

read >

Walla Walla, WA – Following through on its stated desire to reduce its environmental impact, Whitman College became the state’s first higher education buyer of renewable power, buying 90 blocks per month of Pacific Power’s Blue Sky renewable energy.   "At Whitman College, we are committed to being good stewards of our environment," said Peter Harvey, Whitman College Treasurer. "Participating in the Blue Sky program makes sense for us, since it is an effective way for the college to promote the use of renewable energy."   Whitman is the latest customer to support the City of Walla Walla’s

read >

Bellevue, WA - Puget Sound Energy [the utility subsidiary of Puget Energy (NYSE: PSD)] recently signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Houston-based Zilkha Renewable Energy to obtain 100-percent ownership of Zilkha’s proposed 220-megawatt (MW) Wild Horse Wind Power Project located in the eastern part of Washington state’s Kittitas County. It is the next step in an ongoing process to acquire renewable energy as part of a strategic plan to secure low-cost, long-term diverse resources for its growing customer base.   The decision to pursue the Wild Horse proposal followed an extensive review

read >

Seattle, WA - Three Puget Sound regional utilities, Puget Sound Energy, Snohomish County Public Utility District and Tacoma Power, announced today the success of their recent public information campaign to encourage customers to purchase environmentally-friendly renewable energy, also called "green" power. The campaign results show more than 4,300 new customers joined the utilities’ green power programs, representing a 272 percent increase in the enrollment rate over the same period last year.   The three utilities’ green power programs provide customers the opportunity to support the

read >

Renton, WA - The Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF), Puget Sound Energy (PSE), and the Puget Sound Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (PSEJATC) announced today the dedication of a photovoltaic (PV) or solar electric system on the PSEJATC's training center in Renton, Wash. The project, which is set to expand by five to ten kilowatts (kW) each year, up to 50 kW, provides an opportunity for apprentice and journeyman electricians to gain valuable, hands-on solar electricity design and installation experience as part of their training.   PSE and the PSEJATC both have

read >

Portland, OR - The Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) announced today that the recent Western Washington Green Power Campaign is being honored with a Green Power Leadership Award for its success in promoting awareness of green power in the region and encouraging new customers to enroll in green power programs offered by their utilities. In addition, BEF customer and soy products manufacturer Silk® earned its own Leadership Award for promoting the visibility of renewable power options through a wide-ranging educational campaign. Rob Harmon, vice president of renewable energy programs

read >

Seattle, WA – The U.S. EPA today praised Northwest companies that are switching to green power at a recognition ceremony held in conjunction with the "Better Business Through Green Power" workshop, held at the Qwest Field and Events Center in Seattle, Washington.   "Conventional electricity generation is the nation’s single largest industrial source of air pollution," said EPA’s Julie Hagensen. "Installing or buying green power is one way businesses can help keep the Pacific Northwest beautiful"   Green power is electricity generated by renewable energy sources including solar, wind, water (

read >

Colorado voters have become the first in the nation to vote on and pass a renewable energy standard on the statewide ballot. A majority of voters approved Amendment 37 on the November 2nd ballot; which requires an increasing amount of the electricity in Colorado to come from renewables energy sources such as wind and solar.   "This is a victory for clean air and energy independence in Colorado," said Matt Baker, Executive Director of Environment Colorado, which led the coalition of groups pushing for the ballot measure. "By taking renewable energy policy to the people, we have begun to break

read >

Portland, OR – A leading renewable energy advocacy group today released a report detailing the economic development benefits of the 24 megawatt Klondike Wind Farm in Sherman County, Oregon. Entitled "Windfall from the Wind Farm; Sherman County, Oregon," the report illustrates the economic development benefits that local and regional businesses experienced during project planning and construction as well as the positive effect that increased property tax revenues are having on critical county services. These economic development benefits are poised to grow substantially given today’s

read >

Portland, OR — Portland General Electric (PGE) today announced a 30-year agreement with PPM Energy to purchase 75 megawatts (MW) of wind capacity to serve PGE customers beginning in December 2005. Through this agreement, PGE will purchase all of the output of PPM Energy’s Klondike II Expansion Wind Project located near Wasco, Ore. The agreement marks a significant outcome from PGE’s 2002 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and the first major step toward meeting the company’s renewable power supply goals under that plan.   "We are pleased to be delivering more renewable energy to our customers at

read >

Bellevue, WA - Puget Sound Energy [the utility subsidiary of Puget Energy (NYSE:PSD)] announced today its second wind power project in Washington state, bringing the utility's proposed ownership of wind energy to nearly 400 megawatts (MW). PSE recently signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Blue Sky Wind LLC, an affiliate of RES America Developments Inc. and Renewable Energy Systems, Ltd., to acquire 100-percent ownership of the proposed Hopkins Ridge Wind Project located in Eastern Washington's Columbia County. The estimated cost to complete the project is approximately $200 million. If

read >

The Renewable Northwest Project (RNP) applauds today’s announcement by NorthWestern Energy that it has signed an agreement to purchase between 135-150 MW of wind power for its Montana default supply customers. NorthWestern signed the agreement with Invenergy Wind LLC to acquire the power from a wind project to be constructed near Judith Gap in Wheatland County, Montana.   "This is great news for Montana! Montana has the best wind resource in the Northwest, and with today’s announcement, consumers will finally reap the benefits of that resource in the form of a low-cost, clean wind project,"

read >

Butte, MT – NorthWestern Corporation d/b/a NorthWestern Energy (NASDAQ: NWEC) announced today that it has signed an agreement to purchase 135 to 150 megawatts of electricity from an affiliate of Invenergy Wind LLC, which will construct a $150 million, large-scale wind farm near Judith Gap in Wheatland County, Mont. The contract is subject to approval by the Montana Public Service Commission.   The 20-year contract will provide NorthWestern Energy’s default supply customers with approximately 8 percent of their electricity from the wind at a price that is competitive with electricity

read >

Portland, OR — PacifiCorp announced today a power purchase agreement in which it will purchase the output of a 64.5-megawatt wind-powered electric generating project to be built about 10 miles southeast of Idaho Falls, Idaho.   The 20-year agreement is between PacifiCorp and a special purpose entity, Wolverine Creek Energy LLC, owned and operated by Invenergy, a developer, owner and operator of power generation and energy delivery assets headquartered in Chicago.   “PacifiCorp is very pleased to move forward on this renewable energy project,” said Stan Watters, senior vice president of

read >

Regional advocates today praised Washington Governor Christine Gregoire for granting final approval to the 230-megawatt Wild Horse Wind Power Project in Kittitas County. The Wild Horse project is the very first renewable energy facility to receive a site certificate from Washington’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC). Both EFSEC and the Kittitas County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the project.   “We applaud Governor Gregoire’s support of this project. Tapping domestic renewable resources like wind helps put Washington on the path to a clean and sustainable

read >

The number of utility customers purchasing "green power" in the Northwest has increased by 40% from 2003 to 2004, according to a new report released today by the Renewable Northwest Project (RNP). Entitled “Powerful Choices V”, the report summarizes the retail green power programs that are allowing customers to voluntarily invest directly in a clean energy future. Throughout the Northwest, in markets both urban and rural, thirty-six Northwest utilities are offering customers a choice of an environmentally preferred power source – wind power, solar power, landfill gas power, or low-impact

read >

Wasco, OR - Public officials, environmental advocates and energy industry representatives joined hundreds of local schoolchildren and their families in north central Oregon to dedicate the state’s newest wind energy farm, Klondike II on Oct. 28, 2005. The ceremony also included the announcement of the $270 million Big Horn Wind Power Project in Bickleton, Wash., and a multi-million dollar agreement between Portland General Electric and the Energy Trust of Oregon.   "The Klondike wind power plant in Oregon and the Big Horn wind power project we are building across the Columbia River in

read >

Corvallis, OR — Corvallis City Council President Charlie Tomlinson issued a communitywide challenge tonight to residents and businesses to sign up for Pacific Power’s Blue Sky renewable power and help reduce global warming.   “This community has a great opportunity to shine on a national level,” Tomlinson said. “If we can get 1,900 Corvallis households to sign up for Blue Sky, we’ll be Oregon’s largest green powered community.”   His appeal on the Benton County Courthouse steps followed the 21st Annual Corvallis Community Christmas Parade. On October 17, the City Council approved a

read >

Bellevue, WA - The winds that regularly sweep across southeast Washington's expansive wheat fields are now helping to illuminate the million-plus homes and businesses receiving electric service from Puget Sound Energy [utility subsidiary of Puget Energy (NYSE:PSD)].   The Evergreen State's largest utility today announced the completion of its Hopkins Ridge wind-power project, located about 285 miles southeast of Seattle, near Dayton. The $200 million power-generating facility makes PSE the only Northwest utility to solely own and operate a large wind farm. PSE expects to have a second wind

read >

Olympia, WA – Today, a statewide coalition of farmers, labor, clean energy businesses and conservationists launched a campaign to place an Energy Security Initiative before Washington voters this November. Passage of the initiative would help protect electric consumers from volatile prices and grow our economy by requiring the state’s larger utilities to gradually increase the amount of new renewable resources (such as wind and solar) in their electricity supply to 15 percent by 2020. Those utilities also would be required to make the most of the low-cost energy conservation opportunities in

read >

The recent completion of four new wind energy projects puts the amount of new renewable energy serving Pacific Northwest customers at over 1,000 megawatts (MW). The new projects include: Klondike II in Sherman County, Oregon (75 MW); Hopkins Ridge in Columbia County, Washington (150 MW); Wolverine Creek in Bonneville County, Idaho (64 MW); and Judith Gap in Wheatland County, Montana (135 MW). The 1,000 MW of electricity these and other renewable projects generate is enough to power approximately 250,000 average homes in the Northwest. In addition to providing clean power from domestic

read >

Regional renewable advocates applauded the many Northwest utilities highlighted in the U.S Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). 'Top Ten' rankings released today.   "We’re pleased to see the excellent showing of Northwest utilities in the national rankings," commented Diane Zipper, director of green power programs at Renewable Northwest Project, a regional renewable energy advocacy organization.   "Utility green power programs allow consumers to directly support clean, renewable power," continued Zipper. "Northwest customers should be congratulated for

read >

Seattle, WA - Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI), a national retail cooperative providing quality outdoor gear and apparel, announced at its annual meeting Monday that it will purchase 10 million kilowatt hours of green power, or 20 percent of the company's national electricity usage.   The purchase of wind, landfill gas and solar generated electricity will provide 100 percent of the power for 17 of REI's 82 retail stores, and is equivalent to the annual use of more than 1,000 average homes. The switch to renewable resources eliminates over 5,500 tons of CO2, equivalent to removing more than

read >

Corvallis, OR — Due to a strong, collaborative effort of residents, businesses and the city government, Corvallis today attained the distinction of being named the first Green Power Community on the West Coast by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.   “While other communities are beginning to buy green power to support clean, renewable sources of electricity, Corvallis is the first Northwest community to join the Green Power Partnership and purchase clean energy at a level high enough to meet the program’s requirements,” said Matt Clouse, director of the U.S. Environmental Protection

read >

Portland, OR — Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) today announced it has executed an agreement with Orion Energy LLC to acquire the development rights for the 25,000-acre Biglow Canyon Wind Farm in Sherman County, Ore. The Oregon Public Utility Commission is currently reviewing the agreement and is expected to announce its recommendation in the next several weeks. If the agreement is approved by the OPUC, Portland General Electric could develop between 350 and 450 megawatts of wind energy capacity at the site, which could produce enough electricity to power 100,000 homes. It would be one

read >

Sedona, AZ -- Western governors today committed to take action on a number of fronts to bring on-line substantially more clean and diversified energy resources, improve energy efficiency and ensure there is adequate transmission available at a reasonable cost well into the future.   They also said the country could help reduce its reliance on unstable foreign oil supplies by supporting additional research and development of cleaner, alternative transportation fuels. Additionally, they called for a full and vigorous discussion regarding the reduction and mitigation of greenhouse gases,

read >

Boise, ID — Idaho Power has named Texas-based Horizon Wind Energy as the successful bidder for the development of a wind generation project identified in the company’s 2004 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).   The 66 megawatt (MW) project will be built in Union County, Ore., near the community of North Powder and is expected to be on line no later than the end of 2007.   “It has been a protracted process to select a successful bidder,” said Idaho Power Project Manager Tom Noll. “Much has happened since we initially issued this RFP, including the construction of nearly 200 MW of wind projects on

read >

Olympia, WA — Today, the people of Washington State took a giant stride toward a clean and affordable energy future. A broad coalition of utilities, businesses, labor, farmers and conservationists delivered more than 330,000 signatures to Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed, effectively qualifying Initiative 937 -- the Clean and Renewable Energy Initiative -- for the November 7 statewide ballot.   Speaking from the steps of the State Capitol building, U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee praised the dedicated volunteers who were central the signature drive’s success. “The large number of volunteers who

read >

The number of utility customers voluntarily purchasing "green power" in the Northwest topped 100,000 for the first time ever in 2005, according to a new report released today by the Renewable Northwest Project (RNP). Entitled “Powerful Choices VI,” the report summarizes the retail green power programs that are allowing customers to voluntarily invest directly in a clean energy future.   Throughout the Northwest, in markets both urban and rural, thirty-nine Northwest utilities are offering customers a choice of an environmentally preferred power source – wind power, solar power, landfill gas

read >

Wind power development in the Pacific Northwest between October 2005 and October 2006 brought nearly $1.4 billion in investment and more than 1400 jobs to the region, according to a new fact sheet released today by the Renewable Northwest Project. Entitled “Wind Power and Economic Development: Real Examples from the Pacific Northwest,” the new fact sheet describes the variety of direct economic benefits resulting from a single year’s worth of wind power development in the region. The fact sheet was released today at the 7th Annual Harvesting Clean Energy Conference in Boise, ID.   County

read >

Portland, OR — A preliminary wind integration cost study released by the Idaho Power Company on Wednesday met with stiff resistance from members of a regional group charged with investigating costs associated with accommodating wind farms on the Northwest power grid. Renewable Northwest Project (RNP) Director Rachel Shimshak said, “While we are pleased that Idaho Power conducted a wind integration study, they have rushed an incomplete analysis to the Idaho Public Utility Commission without completing the peer review process.” Shimshak, a Steering Committee member of the Northwest Wind

read >

Portland, OR - Towers, turbines and blades began arriving last week at the Port of Vancouver for the 140.5-megawatt Marengo wind project under construction near Dayton, Wash. The equipment will be trucked to the Dayton site beginning this week.   The Marengo project was purchased in October by PacifiCorp, which serves electric customers in Oregon, Washington and California as Pacific Power. The wind facility is expected to have the capability to serve the needs of approximately 37,000 customers. Target completion date is Aug. 1, 2007.   Foundations for 11 out of the 78 planned turbines are

read >

Portland, OR —Wind power projects are being rapidly developed throughout the Northwest, and the region's existing power system can most likely accommodate the 6,000 megawatts of wind energy anticipated by 2024 – or perhaps much sooner given the current pace of development. However, there will be costs to incorporate these new wind sources as well as a need for additional investments in high-voltage transmission lines, new regulatory and utility cost recovery policies and recognition in the Northwest that wind by itself cannot meet the region's future power needs. These are central conclusions

read >

The Oregon House of Representatives today passed Senate Bill 838, the Oregon Renewable Energy Act with strong, bipartisan support (41-18). The landmark legislation enacts a Renewable Energy Standard requiring Oregon’s largest utilities to obtain 25% of their electricity from clean, homegrown renewable energy sources by 2025. The bill previously passed the Oregon Senate 20-10 on April 10th.   “I think history will remember the Oregon Renewable Energy Act as a landmark piece of legislation, on par with Oregon’s Bottle Bill,” said Rachel Shimshak, Executive Director of the Renewable Northwest

read >

The amount of “green power” being purchased by utility customers in the Northwest is now over one billion kilowatt-hours (kWh), according to a new report released today by the Renewable Northwest Project (RNP). Entitled “Powerful Choices VII”, the report summarizes the retail green power programs that are allowing customers to voluntarily invest directly in a clean energy future.   Throughout the Northwest, in markets both urban and rural, thirty-nine Northwest utilities are offering customers a choice of an environmentally preferred power source – wind power, solar power, landfill gas power

read >

An important impediment to the development of wind projects in Idaho was removed yesterday when the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (IPUC) approved an agreement settling a long-standing dispute over the cost and ability of power systems to accommodate new wind projects. Wind developers, IPUC staff, and the three Idaho investor owned utilities agreed to a set of conditions including; the cost of accommodating wind on power systems, cost-sharing arrangements for advanced wind power forecasting services, and dependability levels for wind generators.   “We are very pleased with the outcome,”

read >

San Francisco, CA — The Center for Resource Solutions announced today that PacifiCorp’s Blue Sky Usage, Blue Sky Habitat, and Blue Sky Block renewable energy programs are now Green-e Energy Certified. PacifiCorp, which operates as Pacific Power in California, Oregon and Washington and as Rocky Mountain Power in Idaho, Utah and Wyoming, joins the growing network of renewable energy providers that offer products certified by Green-e Energy, the nation’s leading certification and verification program for renewable energy.   "Green-e Energy is pleased to be part of PacifiCorp’s effort to provide

read >

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) today released its annual ranking of leading utility green power programs. Under these voluntary programs, consumers can choose to help support additional electricity production from renewable resources such as solar and wind. More than 800 utilities across the United States offer these programs.   Using information provided by utilities, NREL develops “Top 10” rankings of utility programs in the following categories: total sales of renewable energy to program participants, total number of customer participants

read >

Washington, D.C. - For the second year in a row, the Ivy League wins the crown as the overall champion conference in EPA's 2007-2008 College & University Green Power Challenge. Led by the University of Pennsylvania, the Ivy League's cumulative annual purchase of more than 220 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) has the equivalent environmental impact of avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of nearly 32,000 vehicles. This year's challenge included 40 competing institutions representing 18 different conferences nationwide.   "EPA applauds this year's College & University Green Power

read >

Portland, OR — Responding to Pacific Power’s actions that have threatened the solar industry in Oregon, a large group of public interest organizations, cities and solar energy companies are intervening before the Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) in hopes of allowing the current boom in solar electric development to continue. By raising questions about a common financing method that allows governments and non-profits to purchase solar electricity at affordable rates, Pacific Power’s PUC filing has effectively frozen Oregon’s progress on solar installations. In addition, Pacific Power is

read >

Portland, OR - A large group of public interest organizations, cities and solar energy companies praised the Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) today for its prompt ruling that will ensure dozens of proposed on-site solar projects across the state can be constructed and connected to the grid by the end of the year.   "We applaud the Oregon Public Utilities Commission (OPUC) decision affirming the ability of third parties to continue installing clean, affordable renewable energy projects for non-profit customers in the state, "said Suzanne Leta Liou, Senior Policy Advocate for the

read >

The number of utility customers purchasing “green power” in the Northwest is now nearly 150,000, according to a new report released today by the Renewable Northwest Project (RNP). Entitled “Powerful Choices VIII”, the report summarizes the retail green power programs that are allowing customers to voluntarily invest directly in a clean energy future.   Throughout the Northwest, in markets both urban and rural, thirty-nine Northwest utilities are offering customers a choice of an environmentally preferred power source – wind power, solar power, landfill gas power, or low-impact hydropower.

read >

The Washington State Supreme Court made a historic decision today to continue the growth of the Northwest’s renewable energy resource potential by confirming a Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (WAEFSEC) decision approving a permit for the Kittitas Valley Wind Power Project.   “This decision is a strong, pivotal signal in the development of a clean energy future for Washington, and demonstrates that project developers who meet the rigorous habitat and wildlife criteria for new renewable projects, and engage the community in their effort, can be successful,” said Rachel

read >

Salem, OR – A pair of bills being considered by the Oregon Senate would deliver a painful one-two punch to Oregon's clean energy economy. The effect of these bills, if passed with proposed amendments, would send shockwaves through Oregon’s green energy economy and associated job market. The consideration of these bills comes just at the wrong time. According to a new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts, Oregon currently has the nation's largest and fastest growing clean energy economy.   Rural communities, businesses, and consumer groups are voicing their concerns over HB 2940 and HB 2472;

read >

Washington’s renewable-energy industry received a significant boost today when Puget Sound Energy announced the start of construction on Phase I of the Lower Snake River Wind Project in Garfield County. Washington’s oldest energy utility is creating more green energy and more green jobs by pursuing federal stimulus-package funding and state incentives for using apprentice labor during construction, which improve the economics of the project for the utility and its customers.   The 343-megawatt (MW) Phase I project in Garfield County will significantly increase PSE’s total wind-power

read >

An analysis released this afternoon by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirms that a comprehensive solution to our dependence on oil is affordable and within reach, according to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). EPA analyzed the American Power Act, a comprehensive energy and climate bill sponsored by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT). EPA's findings, released today, show that the American Power Act's objectives can be achieved for a few dollars a month for the average American. That's a small investment in a clean energy economy that will create jobs,

read >

On the heels of President Obama’s June 15 speech calling for clean energy legislation, a new coalition of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and biofuels organizations today called on the U.S. Senate to quickly pass comprehensive energy legislation that will create millions of American jobs and decrease our reliance on foreign supplies of fossil fuels by using our own clean and abundant resources. The letter, copied below, was sent to all members of the Senate today as a followup to the President’s call to action on energy. It also comes in advance of the Senate Democrats’ scheduled

read >

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the United Steelworkers (USW) today released a joint ‘Framework Agreement’ to create a ‘Partnership for Progress’ in accelerating the development and deployment of wind energy production in the U.S. Leo W. Gerard, USW International President, said “The Framework Agreement we’re announcing is the beginning of a road map to help ensure that our nation makes real progress in developing alternative and renewable sources of energy production on a scale that is commensurate with its vast potential. "We expect this framework will help advance the

read >

Hundreds of northwest businesses, employing tens of thousands of people in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington, are urging the region's Senators to pass comprehensive climate and clean energy legislation, including a cap on carbon. The businesses include global powerhouses Nike and Weyerhaeuser, along with the Outdoor Industry Association, which represents large outdoor retailers like REI and The North Face. Farmers, guides, clean energy companies and hundreds of other businesses across the region also support legislation to decrease our dependence on fossil fuels and reduce the

read >

Washington, D.C. – Three leading energy efficiency and renewable energy organizations – the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP, an international body), the Alliance to Save Energy (Alliance) and the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) – have jointly released their Compendium of Best Practices: Sharing Local and State Successes in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy from the United States, in which state and local governments share the key elements of their programs, lessons learned and what made each program a success.   The new report describes more than

read >

WASHINGTON, D.C. — According to a report released today by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), BlueGreen Alliance and the United Steelworkers, the U.S. wind industry can create tens of thousands of additional jobs manufacturing wind turbines and components if the U.S. passes long-term policies that create a stable market for the domestic wind energy supply chain. Read the report. “Wind energy provides one of the most promising sources of new manufacturing jobs for American workers,” said Rob Gramlich, Senior Vice President of Public Policy for AWEA. “This report shows how the right

read >

Portland, OR — The Renewable Northwest Project (RNP), a leading advocate for renewable energy throughout the Northwest, applauded today’s launch of a pilot program that will test a new approach for incentivizing solar options for energy customers in Oregon. Within minutes of its launch, the first wave of program offering was taken, indicating extremely high demand among energy consumers.   “We are excited about the new solar pilot and optimistic that it will yield significant learning opportunities,” said John J. Audley, deputy director with Renewable Northwest Project. “Response to today’s

read >

Whitefish, Mont. -- Western governors continued to deal with critical energy issues at their annual meeting held here. The focus during a Monday plenary session was how best to work within a changing energy landscape after the BP tragedy and how the West can meet its growing energy demands. Experts who spoke to the governors were Dr. Arun Majumdar, Director of Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy; Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures; David Leuschen, Co-Founder and Senior Managing Director of Riverstone; Rob Bernard, Chief Environmental Strategist for Microsoft, and Ronald T. Evans,

read >

Tacoma, WA — Energy and conservation groups today filed court papers to defend the state of Washington’s energy efficiency standards — standards that will save consumers millions of dollars and reduce harmful global warming pollution — against a lawsuit that aims to dismantle them.  These standards also set a strong example for other states to follow in adopting energy- and cost-saving policies, so their preservation is critical.   The legal intervention by Earthjustice, NW Energy Coalition, Washington Environmental Council, Sierra Club, and Natural Resources Defense Council, filed in U.S.

read >

SALEM, Ore.—The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife today released a five-year update to the greater sage-grouse conservation plan for public review. The revision of the document, Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation Assessment and Strategy for Oregon, builds on the original 2005 plan and includes accomplishments to date, refined population estimates, core-area mapping and mitigation recommendations.   “The new mapping effort lets us take a strategic look at priority habitats,” said Christian Hagen, ODFW Sage-Grouse Conservation Coordinator and lead author of the plan. “We now have solid data

read >

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has filed a protest with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regarding a proposal by Puget Sound Energy and released the following statement from AWEA Director of Federal Regulatory Affairs Tom Vinson:   “We are asking FERC to overturn a proposal by Puget Sound Energy that would impose unfair and excessive grid integration charges on wind plants while failing to charge competing fossil and nuclear-powered power plants for the far larger integration costs they impose on the power system. “Wind power works for electric consumers,

read >

Portland, Ore. -- The Renewable Northwest Project (RNP), a leading advocate for renewable energy throughout the Northwest, co-presented a forum yesterday on the role of energy transmission in proliferating renewable resources. Hosted in collaboration with the Energy Future Coalition, Climate Solutions and the Northwest Energy Coalition, forum participants included national and regional leaders from diverse sectors including government, business, labor, non-profit and environmental groups.   “Renewable energy offers us an immediate opportunity to address urgent economic, environmental and

read >

Oregon Department of Energy filed new temporary administrative rules for portions of the Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC) program on July 1, 2010. The temporary rules are effective July 1, 2010 and apply to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2010. The temporary rules are effective for 180 days ending Dec. 28, 2010 and are posted on the Department’s website at http://www.oregon.gov/ENERGY/CONS/Rulemaking2010-RETC.shtml. A public hearing for permanent rulemaking will be held later this year.   Changes to the RETC rules include: The net cost of an eligible Alternative Energy

read >

The U.S. was one of the fastest-growing wind power markets in the world in 2009, second only to China, according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Energy and prepared by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Wind power additions in the United States set a new record in 2009, with 10 gigawatts of new capacity installed, representing a $21 billion investment. “At this pace, wind power is on a path to becoming a significant contributor to the U.S. power mix,” says co-author Ryan Wiser, a scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD). “Wind

read >

Cle Elum, Wash – In a landmark decision for the city of Cle Elum, Kittitas County, Washington state and the nation, the Kittitas County Board of Adjustment last night approved a permit for Teanaway Solar Reserve (TSR). The 75-MW project, located 90 miles west of Seattle, will be one of the largest photovoltaic solar facilities in the world. “With this decision, Kittitas County is in the forefront of the nation’s new renewable energy industry,” says Howard Trott, TSR’s Managing Director. “TSR’s vision to generate green jobs and energy is now a reality, and it marks the start of a new future

read >

Portland, Ore. (August 20, 2010) – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has announced the rejection of a Puget Sound Energy proposal to levy a new charge on wind generation in its service territory. Advocates including the Renewable Northwest Project (RNP) and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) argued that the charges proposed by Puget were discriminatory and did not reflect the actual costs of accommodating wind power on the grid.   “We applaud FERC’s choice to reject the proposed wind generation charge,” said Rachel Shimshak, executive director at Renewable Northwest

read >

PORTLAND, Ore. — Vestas, the world’s leader in producing high-tech wind power systems, announced today it will move its North American sales and service headquarters into the historic Meier & Frank Depot Building at 1417 NW Everett St. in Portland’s Pearl District.   Gerding Edlen Development, Inc., will transform the sturdy structure, vacant since 2001, into one of Portland’s newest and distinctive buildings. Construction is expected to begin in October 2010. Vestas plans to occupy the space in early 2012. The building will be designed with the intent to achieve LEED (Leadership in

read >

PORTLAND, OR - On the heels of a summer that saw many parts of the U.S. and world hit by record heat, severe storms and damaging floods, a new Environment Oregon report documents how global warming could lead to extreme weather events becoming more common in the future. The report highlights extreme weather events across the country over the past four years.   “Whether it’s the 2007 Great Coastal Gale or Portland’s 2008 Snowmageddon, extreme weather events cause extremely big problems for Oregon’s economy and our public safety,” said Brock Howell, state policy advocate for Environment Oregon

read >

PORTLAND, Ore., Sep 08, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Portland General Electric Company today announced the final phase of its Biglow Canyon Wind Farm is complete, and all 217 turbines of the project are available to generate power for PGE customers.Biglow Canyon represents PGE's largest renewable project, with a total installed capacity of 450 megawatts. Given the variability of wind power, the plant is expected to produce an average of around 150 MW - enough to power the homes of about 125,000 average PGE residential customers.   "Biglow Canyon Wind Farm is an important component of PGE's

read >

NEW YORK & TWIN FALLS, Idaho--Tuesday, June 29, 2010 -- Maintaining momentum in its renewable energy investing, GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of GE, announced today that it has made an equity investment in Idaho’s largest wind power project. The almost half billion dollar portfolio of 11 wind farms under construction was developed by Exergy Development Group.   GE Energy Financial Services made the announcement today at the American Council on Renewable Energy’s Renewable Energy Finance Forum in New York City. The GE unit will own a majority equity interest in the Idaho Wind

read >

Washington, DC -- The American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) today released a report, Renewable Energy in America: Markets, Economic Development and Policy in the 50 States, as an online resource and a product of ACORE’s mission to bring renewable energy into the mainstream. Compiling financial, renewable energy resource potentials, market and policy information in one easily-accessed, online format, the report is intended to be an executive summary for all who are interested in the highlights of the renewable energy sector in every state.   “We have produced this report for busy

read >

San Diego, CA September 21 ,2010: enXco, an EDF Energies Nouvelles Company and Portland General Electric have entered into two power purchase agreements for solar photovoltaic installations to be located in the Willamette Valley near Salem, Oregon. The two installations will combine for a total of 2.84 MW (dc) of generating capacity providing power for approximately 2,300 homes at peak production.   “These agreements with enXco are part of our strategy to help meet Oregon’s renewable energy goals,” said Jim Lobdell, vice president for power operations and resource strategy at PGE. “Together

read >

PORTLAND, Ore., – Iberdrola Renewables, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), Constellation Energy Control & Dispatch and software provider Versify Solutions today announced the launch of a new pilot program that could significantly expand cost-effective use of Pacific Northwest wind energy. The project also holds promise for lowering costs while increasing the environmental benefits of wind energy in the region.   The initiative, called Customer Supplied Generation Imbalance or “self supply,” brings together hydro, wind and natural gas-fired energy to reliably and cost-effectively

read >

Moses Lake, Wash. - REC Silicon - one of the world's largest producers of silicon materials and manufacturer of solar, electronic grade polysilicon and silane gas - celebrated the recent expansion of its operations with a grand opening and plant tours on Monday.   "During difficult economic times, REC Silicon is growing," said Tore Torvund, President of REC Silicon. "We have added jobs to Central Washington and helped pioneer new technology that makes solar energy more affordable."   Headquartered in Moses Lake, Washington, and with additional operations in Butte, Montana, REC Silicon

read >

Portland, Ore. (October 19, 2010)— As national leaders in green power convene for the Renewable Energy Markets Conference in Portland, Renewable Northwest Project - a leading advocate for renewable energy - released its tenth annual report on retail green power programs in the Northwest. Entitled “Powerful Choices X,” the report indicates that customer participation in voluntary green power programs increased 5.8% in 2009, demonstrating a continued trend of increasing demand for renewable energy, despite recession conditions.   “The report speaks loud and clear: Northwest energy customers

read >

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is presenting the 10th annual Green Power Leadership Awards honoring 18 EPA Green Power Partners for their achievements in using green power, helping to grow the nation’s voluntary green power market, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The 18 award winners are using more than 5 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually, equivalent to the annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of more than 700,000 vehicles.   “EPA congratulates our leadership award winners for demonstrating by example the importance of using clean, renewable energy,” said

read >

Lake County, OR — Element Power US, LLC, a top-tier US renewable energy company headquartered in Portland, received a conditional use permit this week to build an approximately 12 megawatt solar photovoltaic facility on leased lands in the community of Christmas Valley in Lake County, Oregon. The Lake County Planning Commission’s 5-1 vote on Tuesday night in favor of the project makes it the largest solar energy project ever permitted in the state – capable of producing enough clean energy to power more than 6,000 homes.   “Element Power is proud to develop Oregon’s largest solar farm and is

read >

Portland, Ore. (October 27, 2010) – Renewable Northwest Project (RNP), a leading advocate for renewable energy throughout the Northwest, today celebrated the release of a book by research director Ken Dragoon. Published by William Andrew, the book is entitled Valuing Wind Generation on Integrated Power Systems and offers a guide to successful wind energy strategies for power system analysts and authorities around the world.   “Wind power is the fastest growing energy source in the United States and an abundant clean energy option,” said Dragoon. “This book provides a guide to understanding

read >

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. wind energy industry, after employing 85,000 Americans through the depth of the recession, has experienced its slowest quarter since 2007 and seeks swift action to strengthen policies that unleashed a wave of private investment in 2008 and 2009.   The U.S. industry added just 395 megawatts (MW) of wind-powered electric generating capacity in the third quarter of 2010, making it the lowest quarter since 2007. Year-to-date installations stood at 1,634 MW, down 72 percent versus 2009, and the lowest level since 2006. In 2010, wind projects in the U.S. are being

read >

Washington D.C. --- U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced a conditional commitment to provide a partial guarantee for a $1.3 billion loan in support of the world’s largest wind farm to date. The loan will finance the Caithness Shepherds Flat wind project, an 845 megawatt wind-powered electrical generating facility located in eastern Oregon sponsored by Caithness Energy LLC and General Electric (GE) Energy Financial Services.   “Thanks to the Recovery Act, we are creating the clean energy jobs of the future while positioning the U.S. as a world leader in the production of renewable

read >

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing its list of the top 50 organizations using the most renewable electricity. The Green Power Partnership’s top purchasers use more than 12 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity use of more than 1 million average American homes. Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, and low-impact hydropower.   The Intel Corporation tops the list as the Partnership’s largest single purchaser of green power

read >

  OPT plans to use the first award, for $2.4 million, in connection with the construction and deployment of one of its PB150 PowerBuoys(R) at Reedsport, Oregon, as part of the first proposed commercial wave power project in the US. Deployment of the 150 kilowatt peak-rated PB150, which is currently under construction, is expected to occur in 2011. This is the second award to OPT by the DoE in connection with the Reedsport project. In 2008, OPT received $2.0 million to use towards the construction of the PB150 PowerBuoy.   In August 2010, the Oregon project received a major boost when the

read >

Portland, Ore. — Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski was today honored by Renewable Northwest Project - a leading advocate for renewable energy - for his exceptional commitment to clean energy. The Governor visited Portland to accept the George Darr Clean Energy Award, which is granted not annually but on rare occasions when standout leadership is identified.   The award was presented by Renewable Northwest Project Chair Nancy Hirsh and Renewable Northwest Project Executive Director Rachel Shimshak in the company of the organization’s Board of Directors and members.   “Oregon would not be where

read >

PORTLAND, Ore.— SolarCity® today announced the availability of the first residential solar lease in Oregon. SolarCity’s SolarLease® financing option will make it possible for Oregon homeowners to go solar for as little as $20 per month, with no upfront cost, and save money from day one.   The affordable new financing option was made possible by new rules published by the Oregon Department of Energy that went into effect on Jan. 1st. The new rules allow customers who choose to lease their solar systems to receive the residential tax credit (RETC) that was previously only available to customers

read >

Helena, MT – Formed in the wake of the Montana Economic Development Summit organized by U.S. Senator Max Baucus last September, a coalition of diverse business, industry and non-profit leaders is mobilizing under a shared goal: to spur Montana’s economy by harnessing the state’s full renewable energy potential.   The Montana Wind Group is working to engage, educate and secure support from state leaders, counties and communities. The coalition’s objective is to show how wind power has benefitted Montana through statewide economic development, job creation and stability for farmers, ranchers

read >

Marysville, WA -- Silicon Energy, the first certified PV solar module manufacturer in the state, has moved from Arlington to an expanded facility in Marysville. “We’ve nearly doubled our facility’s size,” says Silicon president Gary Shaver, “and this reflects the growth we’ve seen this year and the expansion plans we have.”   The move from 14,000 to 27,000 square feet will accommodate an increase in production capacity, staffing needs, and product development. Since January, Silicon Energy has grown from 15 to 20 employees. In addition, they’re bringing a solar inverter system to market,

read >

Portland, Ore. – Renewable Northwest Project, a leading regional advocacy group for renewable energy, today announced the hire of three new staff members. The new employees bring added talent to the organization’s policy and analyst teams.   Jeff Fox joined as Policy Advocate in the Montana region. As the organization’s first fulltime Montana-based employee, Fox bolsters on-the-ground advocacy work within the state. A native Montanan, Fox has rich experience, from serving as a wilderness ranger in Colorado and Wyoming to outreach coordinator at The Wilderness Society in Washington, D.C. He

read >

BOISE, Idaho - February 24, 2011 (NYSE Amex: HTM; TSX: GTH) U.S. Geothermal Inc., a leading renewable energy company focused on the development, production and sale of electricity from geothermal energy, today announced the financial closing with the U.S. Department of Energy ("DOE") of a $96.8-million loan guarantee to construct its planned 23-megawatt-net power plant at Neal Hot Springs in Eastern Oregon.   Neal Hot Springs is the first geothermal project to complete a loan guarantee under DOE's Title XVII loan guarantee program, which was created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to

read >

SAN JOSE, Calif., January 13, 2011 - SoloPower, Inc., a California-based manufacturer of flexible, thin film solar cells and modules, announces it will locate a high volume manufacturing facility in Wilsonville, Oregon.The initial phase of this expansion will be the construction of a 75 MW manufacturing line which will create 170 new jobs. Upon completion, the facility is expected to have nameplate capacity of 300MW, employ approximately 500 people, and have a total investment of approximately $340 Million. This state-of-the-art production facility will greatly enhance SoloPower’s ability to

read >

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon’s renewable energy leaders today announced a major milestone in economic development for the state. This year, capital investment in Oregon wind, solar and geothermal energy will top $5.4 billion, according to Renewable Northwest Project, a nonprofit advocacy organization based in Portland.   Renewable energy leaders hailed this as a significant sign of progress as Oregon moves to diversify its energy portfolio while focusing on renewable energy industries as a statewide economic development strategy.   “At a time of heightened focus on global energy crises, Oregon’s

read >

MILPITAS– Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. today signed SBX1 2, which requires one-third of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources. The legislation increases California’s current 20 percent renewables portfolio standard target in 2010 to a 33 percent renewables portfolio standard by December 31, 2020. “This bill will bring many important benefits to California, including stimulating investment in green technologies in the state, creating tens of thousands of new jobs, improving local air quality, promoting energy independence, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Brown

read >

Great Falls, Montana – New research has confirmed unique features of the Montana wind resource in providing solutions for the Pacific Northwest power market. Analysis undertaken by Dr. Charles Shawley, Technical Specialist with Gaelectric North America, examines the impacts of combining geographically diverse wind resources with existing wind and renewable resources, including those found along the Columbia River Gorge, on the Pacific Northwest electricity system. The research provides empirical evidence confirming the unique features of the Montana wind regime including its strong daytime (

read >

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) May 04, 2011 - San Francisco, California based NaturEner USA, LLC, a renewable energy company, announced today the commencement of operations for its NaturEner Operations Center, a fully enabled, state-of-the-art, 24/7, real-time desk located in NaturEner’s San Francisco Headquarters, with the purpose of supporting both commercial and operational functions for NaturEner’s operating projects. NaturEner currently owns and operates the 210MW Glacier wind project in Montana and expects to begin construction of the new Rim Rock wind project, an up to 300MW facility also

read >

Amidst an antidevelopment backdrop, Montana legislators reestablished the conditions allowing for the legitimate exercise of eminent domain. Renewable Northwest Project – a non-profit regional advocacy group – applauded the outcome. Following a long and rigorous debate in the Montana legislature, House Bill 198 became law today without the Governor’s signature. As a result, utilities with projects that meet the definition of a “public use” under existing law and receive a facility-siting permit will be able to use the power of eminent domain to construct their projects. Leaders of both

read >

SoloPower, Inc., a California-based manufacturer of flexible, thin film solar cells and modules, announced that it has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with the City of Portland to locate a high volume manufacturing facility in Portland. “We are committed to Oregon because of the great people and workforce; the active support and engagement at the state level and from the communities we have talked to; and of course, Oregon’s beauty, location and quality of life,” said SoloPower CEO Tim Harris. “This is where we want to be.” SoloPower had originally announced its intention

read >

Portland, Ore. -- In response to a May 13, 2011 Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) decision to issue its “Environmental Redispatch” Record of Decision, Rachel Shimshak, Executive Director of Renewable Northwest Project (RNP) – a non-profit regional advocacy group – issued a public statement today: We are extremely disappointed that BPA chose to implement this Record of Decision, but glad that it will be temporary. While we are sympathetic to the impact of Mother Nature’s generous snowpack this year, we believe that unilaterally curtailing wind projects with no compensation is an unfair

read >

Representative Earl Blumenauer: “The actions that the Bonneville Power Administration has undertaken are in direct conflict with the stated renewable goals of the Department of Energy, the Obama Administration, many key energy policy leaders nationally and regionally, and at variance with what we’ve attempted to do in the Pacific Northwest to grow this industry.” “This action is unnecessarily dividing Northwest utility consumers into winners and losers.” “The Northwest Wind Integration and Action Plan drafted in 2007 outlines what actually should happen. But 50 months later, this action

read >

BOISE, ID – The Shoshone-Paiute Tribes announced its support for the proposed China Mountain Wind Project in the Twin Falls County, Idaho and Elko County, Nevada region. The project, being developed by China Mountain Wind, LLC, a subsidiary of RES America Developments Inc. and NV Energy, will bring renewable energy, new job creation and economic benefits to the area. In a news conference held Monday at the Idaho State Capitol, the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes Business Council signed a resolution supporting the proposed China Mountain Wind Project. The project will be developed on

read >

Portland, Ore. -- Renewable Northwest Project (RNP) – a non-profit regional advocacy group – issued the following statement today to support a complaint filed by a coalition of Northwest energy companies to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in response to the Bonneville Power Administration’s (BPA) “Environmental Redispatch” policy to over-generation. Executive Director Rachel Shimshak provided the following remarks: We understand why wind power generators, investor-owned utilities and renewable energy stakeholders are filing FERC complaints about the BPA’s chosen approach to

read >

Salem, Ore. (June 24, 2011) -- Renewable Northwest Project (RNP) – a non-profit regional advocacy group – issued the following press statement today in response to the Oregon legislature’s passage of House Bill 3672, which revised the state's Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) incentive program. Deputy Director John J. Audley provided the following remarks: Renewable Northwest Project applauds the Oregon legislature for preserving a piece of the Business Energy Tax Credit program amid challenging budgetary constraints. The BETC has been good policy for Oregon, spurring economic development

read >

Portland, Ore. -- The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), yesterday in its Final Record of Decision (ROD), announced its fiscal year 2012-2013 rates for power, transmission and renewable energy integration, which take effect beginning October 1, 2011. Renewable Northwest Project, a non-profit renewable energy advocacy organization, responded with perspective on how these rates will affect the regional renewable energy market. “We are pleased that renewable energy integration rates on BPA’s system will remain relatively stable over this next rate period,” said Rachel Shimshak, executive

read >

BOISE, IDAHO, Aug 19, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- U.S. Geothermal Inc. A former stagecoach stop where travelers lingered in the hot water of remote eastern Oregon is being transformed into Oregon's first commercial scale geothermal power plant through a collaboration of U.S. Geothermal Inc., the federal government, equity partner Enbridge Inc. and local governments. Renewable energy supporters and others received a briefing on the $130-million Neal Hot Springs project today from Sen. Ron Wyden; Steve Spinner, former Chief Strategic Operations Officer, Loan Programs, Department of Energy;

read >

A new report, Western Grid 2050: Contrasting Futures, Contrasting Fortunes, examines two very different energy investment pathways facing the 11 western states: business-as-usual or a new clean energy trajectory. The report finds that with intentional policymaking and planning today, the West can successfully transition to a clean energy economy that will deliver job, environmental and public health benefits for decades to come. The report was released by the Western Grid Group (WGG) with support from the Western Clean Energy Advocates (WCEA) – a broad alliance of more than 25 renewable

read >

Big Sky, MT. (September 26, 2011) — Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer was today honored by Renewable Northwest Project - a leading non-profit regional advocacy group - for his leadership in supporting Montana’s generous endowment of renewable energy. The Governor received this recognition at the Western Wind and Transmission Leadership Summit in Big Sky, along with a custom bolo tie featuring iconic Montana designs.   The bolo tie was presented by Jeff Fox, Montana-based policy advocate for Renewable Northwest Project. Joining Fox were Gaelectric of North America President Eamonn McGrath and

read >

Washington – Demonstrating its commitment to job creation and modernizing America’s infrastructure, the Obama Administration today announced it would accelerate the permitting and construction of seven proposed electric transmission lines.  This move will speed the creation of thousands of construction and operations jobs while transforming the nation’s electric system into a modern, 21st century grid that is safer and more secure, and gives consumers more energy choices. “The President wants to get America working again.  He is committed to cutting red tape and making immediate investments

read >

WASHINGTON, DC, November 7, 2011– WindTV, the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) latest vehicle to highlight how wind power works for America, returns today, with a peek into the work life of someone who epitomizes wind power’s ability to bring manufacturing jobs back to America. WindTV is a new showcase of video profiles of Americans whose lives have been positively impacted by the wind energy industry. The site, located at www.awea.org/windtv, features a different video profile each week. This week, the series features Chris Williams, who proudly works with his hands in helping build

read >

Portland, Ore. (November 14, 2011)— As national leaders in green power convene for the annual Renewable Energy Markets Conference in San Francisco, Renewable Northwest Project - a leading advocate for renewable energy - released its eleventh annual report on retail green power programs in the Northwest. The report indicates that customer participation in voluntary green power programs increased 8.5% in 2010, demonstrating a continued trend of growing consumer preference for renewable energy, despite sustained recession conditions. “The report’s findings are significant: Northwest energy

read >

Portland, Ore. -- In response to today’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ruling on the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) “Environmental Redispatch and No Negative Pricing policy,” Rachel Shimshak, executive director of non-profit advocacy group Renewable Northwest Project, issued the following statement: We are pleased that the Commission has ruled on this issue and has determined that BPA's “Environmental Redispatch and No Negative Pricing Policy” is discriminatory. With these questions answered, Renewable Northwest Project is eager to continue working with BPA and regional

read >

Boston, MA—First Wind, an independent U.S.-based wind energy company, today announced that it has obtained $210 million in financing for the company’s subsidiary, Palouse Wind, LLC, the owner of the 105 MW Palouse Wind project located in northern Whitman County, Washington. With financing in place, First Wind will continue on schedule with construction of the largest renewable energy facility in the county with the capacity to generate enough clean energy to power about 30,000 Northwest homes, equal to the total energy load of all of Whitman County. “After nearly four years of preparation

read >

San Francisco, California – January 9, 2012 – San Francisco, California-based NaturEner USA, LLC ("NaturEner"), a renewable energy company, announces that it has secured a $320 million construction loan with Morgan Stanley that will enable construction of the 189 megawatt (“MW”) Rim Rock wind power project.  NaturEner has given full notice to proceed to its contractors and expects Rim Rock to achieve commercial operation by the end of 2012. Once the project has reached commercial operation, San Diego Gas & Electric Company (“SDG&E”) is expected to make a tax-equity capital

read >

BOSTON - An independent panel of experts studying potential health impacts of wind turbines has issued its report, Wind Turbine Health Impact Study: Report of the Independent Expert Panel. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) convened the panel in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH). The panel was composed of physicians and scientists with broad expertise in areas including acoustical noise/infrasound, public health, sleep disturbance, mechanical engineering, epidemiology, and neuroscience.  Three public meetings on the report

read >

(HELENA) - Governor Brian Schweitzer announced today that the 9.6 MW Gordon Butte wind farm has recently completed construction and is now fully operational.  “Completion of the Gordon Butte wind farm is more good news for Montana. Big and small, Montana wind farms are developing and increasing the amount of clean and green energy produced from our world class wind resource. We’re now at 395 MW of installed wind generation capacity,” said Governor Schweitzer.  The Gordon Butte announcement comes on the heels of the recent announcement by NaturEner USA that it is now under full construction

read >

Portland, Ore. – Two Bonneville Power Administration customers have committed to faster-paced energy schedules, increasing the electric grid's flexibility to absorb changes in wind energy generation and reducing costs for both the customers and BPA. Portland General Electric and Snohomish PUD will schedule transmission of energy through BPA's system every half hour – doubling the previous pace of once an hour -- in exchange for a 34 percent reduction in the rate BPA charges for balancing services. The more frequent scheduling helps the energy market better adjust to fluctuations in wind

read >

Portland, Ore. -- On February 7, 2012, Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) publicized its draft response to the December 7, 2011 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ruling, which deemed BPA’s “environmental redispatch” policy to be discriminatory toward wind generators and required the pursuit of more equitable solutions. Renewable Northwest Project, a non-profit renewable energy advocacy organization, voiced concerns about the BPA proposal. Executive Director Rachel Shimshak today issued the following statement: While Renewable Northwest Project appreciates BPA’s posting of the

read >

OLYMPIA – Washington’s renewable energy sector today announced a milestone in economic development for the state. Capital investment to date in Washington wind, solar, geothermal and biomass has exceeded $7.9 billion, according to data released today by Renewable Northwest Project, a regional nonprofit advocacy group. A wide range of business and community leaders hailed the milestone, noting the significant statewide economic development the investment is creating as Washington moves to resolve its budget crisis, diversify its energy mix, and protect air quality and the environment. “This

read >

BELLEVUE, Wash. (Feb. 29, 2012) – Washington’s newest and largest wind farm – the Lower Snake River Wind Facility-Phase I – today began commercial operations, providing Puget Sound Energy’s 1.1 million electric customers with more renewable, emissions-free power. The new facility’s 149 wind turbines – set among the wind-blown farm lands of Garfield County, in southeast Washington – will generate enough electricity, on average, to power about 100,000 homes. “This is an important milestone for our customers and for the people of Garfield County,” said Kimberly Harris, president and CEO of PSE

read >

WASHINGTON, DC, March 5, 2012–They are a family that’s becoming increasingly common in the U.S. these days: The American wind power family. Eric Melbardis, an operations manager at EDP Renewables North America’s Kittitas wind power facility in Kittitas County, Wash., wife Sharon, and daughter Emma recently vacationed in Washington, D.C., “to see our [nation’s] capital,” as Eric says. The Melbardis family and their visit to Washington, D.C.—along with how that city impacts their lives 3,000 miles away—are the subjects of the latest segment of WindTV, the American Wind Energy Association’s (

read >

Portland, Ore. -- Following today’s Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) filing in response the December 7, 2011 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ruling on the “Environmental Redispatch and No Negative Pricing policy,” Rachel Shimshak, executive director of non-profit advocacy group Renewable Northwest Project, issued this statement:   Bonneville’s response to FERC still does not resolve the fundamental issue of fairness for all generators using its transmission system. However, we are pleased that the proposal has been scaled back from three years to a one-year interim proposal

read >

  Portland, Ore. - Wind turbines in the Bonneville Power Administration’s transmission grid generated over 4,000 megawatts for the first time on Sunday, March 11, producing nearly twice as much energy as that generated by coal, gas and nuclear plants connected to BPA’s system at that time. Wind generation on BPA’s system surpassed the 4,000 megawatt milestone at 3:22 p.m., reaching a new all-time peak of 4,039 megawatts about an hour and a half later. BPA expects to have 5,000 megawatts of this clean, emission-free, renewable resource connected to its system by 2013, several years ahead of

read >

Portland, Ore. -- Following today’s Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) reciprocity tariff filing and the related December 7, 2011 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) order rejecting BPA’s  “Environmental Redispatch and No Negative Pricing policy,” Rachel Shimshak, executive director of non-profit advocacy group Renewable Northwest Project, issued this statement:   While we appreciate Bonneville’s engagement with the region on this issue, we disagree that its filing today satisfies the requirements of the unanimous December 7 FERC order.   The BPA filing is an insufficient response

read >

Portland, Ore. (April 30, 2012) – This week, Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) issued wind power curtailments, a policy the Federal Energy Regularly Commission previously rejected in a December 7, 2011 ruling. Rachel Shimshak, executive director of non-profit advocacy group Renewable Northwest Project, issued this statement:   Given a full year to plan ahead, we are disappointed that BPA is choosing to curtail wind energy despite more equitable solutions within reach. This practice wastes clean and affordable energy while power plants continue to burn coal around the region. BPA’s

read >

CENTRAL OREGON—USDI Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is issuing a decision authorizing a demonstration project to evaluate the potential for producing energy through the use of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) technology near Newberry Volcano. If successful, this project could advance EGS technology and facilitate the development of a domestic, renewable, clean energy option for the United States through the extraction of heat from engineered reservoirs of underground hot rock. The Environmental Analysis (EA) was initiated after the BLM received a Notice of Intent to Conduct Geothermal

read >

SALEM, Ore. (June 5, 2012) -- Governor Kitzhaber today announced the public posting of Oregon’s draft 10-Year Energy Plan. A diverse coalition of environmental, clean-energy and public-interest groups is issuing the following joint response: We thank Governor Kitzhaber for bringing Oregonians together to focus on a 10-year energy plan. A strong energy plan for Oregon requires both near-term and long-term vision and action. Oregonians are increasingly concerned about the harm climate change is causing to our environment, economy and communities; the Governor’s plan is an important opportunity

read >

Portland, Ore. (June 13, 2012) - Renewable Northwest Project (RNP), the region’s leading renewable energy advocacy group, today announced the hire of a new staff member. Dina Dubson joined Renewable Northwest Project as Staff Counsel, bringing added talent to the organization’s policy team. Dubson will advocate for clean energy in state and federal regulatory proceedings. Dubson brings a wealth of energy policy and advocacy experience to her new role. Her prior law practice focused on advising utilities and independent power producers on energy issues. "We are very pleased that Dina Dubson

read >

BOISE, IDAHO, May 29, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- U.S. Geothermal Inc. CA:GTH 0.00% (nyse mkt:HTM) HTM +5.56% , a leading renewable energy company focused on the development, production and sale of electricity from geothermal energy, today announced that its construction contractor has provided a notice of mechanical completion for the first of three 7.3 net megawatt, air cooled power plant modules at the Company's Neal Hot Springs project, located in Malheur County, Oregon. The total project is about 90 percent complete with some 65% of the U.S. Dept of Energy project loan already

read >

Portland, Ore. (September 05, 2012) - Renewable Northwest Project (RNP), a leading regional non-profit advocacy group, today announced the hire of a new staff member. Michael O'Brien joined Renewable Northwest Project as a Policy Associate, bringing a depth of experience to the organization's policy team. O'Brien will analyze renewable energy and siting policy as well as support Renewable Northwest Project's solar policy development in the Pacific Northwest. O'Brien adds a vast amount of energy systems analysis experience to his new position. His prior work in the House of Commons focused on

read >

SEATTLE (September 5, 2012) –Solar panels and recycling bins are becoming as common as hot dog vendors for professional sports teams and their venues, according to a report released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council, in collaboration with the Green Sports Alliance. The new report reveals the collective impact the uniquely influential professional sports industry is having on advancing environmental protection in North America, documenting innovative and cost-effective steps taken across all professional leagues. “The motivation for sports to engage in greening is simple; the

read >

BOISE, Idaho – November 19, 2012 (NYSE MKT: HTM; TSX: GTH) U.S. Geothermal Inc., a leading renewable energy company focused on the development, production and sale of electricity from geothermal energy, announced today that on November 16, 2012 its wholly owned subsidiary, USG Oregon LLC, achieved commercial operation at the Neal Hot Springs project located near Vale, Oregon. Under the terms of the project power purchase agreement, electricity generated by the three- module power plant will now be sold to Idaho Power Company at the rate of $96.00 per megawatt-hour for the remainder of 2012

read >

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 6, 2012 – SolarCity was today honored by Inc. Magazine with its prestigious ‘Hire Power’ award that recognizes the Top Job Creators in the U.S.  SolarCity, a national leader in clean energy services, ranked among the Top 10 out of a list of 100 private companies that were credited for generating the largest number of American jobs in the past three years. SolarCity ranked first among Energy companies. Inc. Magazine reviewed job growth data for the years 2008-2011 to determine the company rankings. In those three years, SolarCity’s employee base grew by more than 252%

read >

SALEM, Ore. (December 17, 2012) -- Governor John Kitzhaber today challenged all Oregonian’s to reach beyond our current energy goals to achieve even greater advances in energy conservation and renewable energy use. A diverse coalition of environmental, clean energy and public interest groups is issuing the following joint response: Governor Kitzhaber’s Ten Year Energy Plan acknowledges the critical role energy plays as we build a strong economy and healthy communities. The Governor’s Plan comes less than a month after the historic announcement by he and other west coast leaders of the

read >

Portland, Ore. – The region's leading renewable energy advocacy organization today welcomed the announcement by US Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu of Bill Drummond as the new Bonneville Power Administrator. BPA is a federal agency that markets 40% of the region's power and owns and operates over 70% of the region's transmission. "We extend our warm congratulations to Bill Drummond on his new position, and we look forward to working with him to continue the successes of the agency and his predecessor, Steve Wright, to include additional clean, renewable energy in the Northwest

read >

Portland, Ore. (February 7, 2013) - The region’s leading renewable energy advocacy group, Renewable Northwest Project, today announced that Amy Baird has joined the group as Communications Manager.  In this role, she will support RNP’s advocacy goals with strategic communications and active engagement with regional reporters. Baird brings a wealth of communications experience to her new role. She has worked both nationally and internationally on communications for endangered species campaigns at the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, as well as on regional salmon issues at Save Our Wild

read >

Olympia, WA – Despite its rainy reputation, Washington has a lot of solar potential, and today, the legislature took the first step to expanding consumer access to solar energy in the state. The House Environment Committee heard public testimony for a bill (HB 1106/SB 5707) that would make solar cheaper and more accessible to thousands of Washington homeowners, small businesses, nonprofits, schools and local governments. HB 1106, introduced by Rep. John McCoy (D – Marysville), improves Washington’s net metering policy to include third party ownership, meaning that residents who wish to

read >

February 19, 2013 - Clean energy advocates and leaders from across the West are urging policymakers to enact policies and support investments in renewable energy and efficiency that would modernize our electric system while slashing greenhouse gas emissions. With President Obama calling for action to address climate disruption in his State of the Union address, and thousands of others marching on Washington this past weekend, a series of white papers and a video are being released to help illustrate how adopting a Clean Energy Vision rather than business as usual will move the West forward

read >

Portland, Ore. - The region’s leading renewable energy advocacy group, Renewable Northwest Project, today announced that Varner Seaman has joined the group in the role of Policy Director.  In this position, he will work to advance policies for renewable energy in the Northwest with key decision makers. Seaman brings extensive political and renewables expertise to this role. Previously, he worked for EDP Renewables in government and regulatory affairs. In that capacity, he served on RNP’s Board of Directors. "Varner Seaman is an excellent addition to our team and advocacy work in the

read >

Portland, Ore. -The region’s leading renewable energy advocacy group, Renewable Northwest Project (RNP), announced today that its office has been LEED® Gold certified. The LEED rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. Said Rachel Shimshak, executive director at RNP, “It is important to us that RNP set a positive example in building a sustainable future by reducing our environmental impact.

read >

Olympia, WA – 13 renewable energy companies and advocacy groups issued a letter to Washington Governor Jay Inslee today urging support of Senate Bill 5896. If passed, the bill would extend the renewable sales and use tax exemption, which has provided a tangible incentive for clean energy businesses to locate their projects in the state. The policy will otherwise expire in June. The policy results in a net benefit for the state, explains Ben Fairbanks, Business Development Director for First Wind about the incentive: “The Palouse Wind Project in Whitman County invested over $30 million locally

read >

Salem, OR – A new report issued today on Earth Day by the region’s leading renewable energy advocacy organization shows that the amount of investment in renewable energy manufacturing and projects in Oregon now totals over $9 billion. Renewable Northwest Project (RNP) analyzed 2012 state economic development data and found that the $9 billion of cumulative investment in the state has resulted in a total of 3,200 MW’s of clean power generation, contributing over $79 million in cumulative public revenue to local communities. It is also estimated that over 4,600 jobs have been created in the

read >

Salem, Ore. – Today Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber signed several energy and conservation-related bills into law in a ceremony at the state capital. As a package, the bills are consistent with the goals of the Governor’s 10-year plan to support clean energy.  The ceremony occurred just moments before President Obama’s speech on climate change delivered from the nation’s capital. Renewable Northwest Project (RNP) commends the President’s call to get serious on climate change, and looks forward to working with the state and federal agencies to improve and implement renewable energy policies

read >

Yesterday, the Washington Governor Jay Inslee, First Wind and Avista commemorated the generation of 150,000 MWh’s at the Palouse Wind Project south of Spokane, Washington. Stated Rachel Shimshak, RNP executive director, "Congratulations to First Wind and Avista on the success of the Palouse Wind Project in Eastern Washington, where it is bringing jobs and economic development. We hope to see many more renewable energy projects in Washington and across the Northwest like this one that put us on the path towards a clean energy future." Read the full press release from the event:   Washington

read >

Portland, Ore. – Today the Acting Administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration, Elliot Mainzer, released BPA’s Final Record of Decision on the biennial regional rate case.  Renewable Northwest Project (RNP) is disappointed that BPA has decided not to remove the duplicative transmission charge for energy coming out of Montana.  Eliminating this rate represents a zero cost approach to increasing Montana’s opportunity for export of clean, renewable energy to Western energy markets. Currently, Montana is limited in its ability to export one of its newest cash crops due to transmission

read >

Austin, TX – Customer participation in voluntary green power programs increased by 13.1% across more than 60 utilities in the Northwest between 2010 and 2012, according to a new report released today from the Renewable Northwest Project.  RNP annually summarizes the progress of these programs in its report, “Powerful Choices.”  This growth exceeds previous years and demonstrates continued public support for clean, renewable energy amongst Northwest residents. “The substantial growth in voluntary green power program participation shows that customers want more renewable power, and they are

read >

Today for Veteran's Day, we honor the men and women who have served our country in the military. Because a surprising amount of military veterans decide to work in the renewable energy industry after their military commitments, we wanted to highlight one of their stories. Paul Rummell started his career in the Air Force and today works for Iberdrola Renewables in their National Control Center in Portland, Oregon. Here's a short (1:30 minute) video with Paul's story, and how his military experience prepared him for his career today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFEgvepiRB4&feature=youtu

read >

Portland, Ore. – Today the Bonneville Power Administration issued its draft Record of Decision on the Oversupply Management Protocol, which sets policy during over-generation events in high water years.  This is the first decision that Elliot Mainzer has issued since being named BPA’s Administrator. Renewable Northwest Project appreciates that Mainzer acknowledges the benefits of renewable energy resources in his Preface and expresses an interest in identifying durable, long-term solutions for the region.  We do not support the direction this draft Record of Decision takes, however. The

read >

Salem, Ore.—Today Governor John Kitzhaber signed HB 4126 to preserve Oregon’s highly successful Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The bill is the result of a diverse stakeholder process convened by the Governor to address a ballot measure, which would have gutted the state’s RPS by allowing existing hydropower to count towards the standard. Renewable Northwest commends the Governor for his leadership in preserving the RPS, which has helped to bring over $9 billion of capital investment to Oregon as well as thousands of jobs and tax dollars to rural communities. Said Rachel Shimshak,

read >

Portland, Ore. – Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released draft Clean Air Act rules that require existing power plants, including coal-burning plants,  to reduce their carbon emissions by 30% by 2030. Renewable Northwest, the region’s leading renewable energy advocacy group, commends the EPA and President Obama for helping to seriously reduce carbon emissions with this plan. The plan marks a turning point in climate policy in the United States, and represents a significant opportunity to create a clean energy future. Said Rachel Shimshak, executive director, on hearing the

read >

This week, the Department of Energy convened a conference at Lewis and Clark College as part of a Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) to assess the electric grid’s strengths and weaknesses in the face of climate change. As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the QER is taking a close look at transmission, storage and distribution in order to improve reliability and resiliency as the threats and impacts of a changing climate continue to increase.  Super storms like Hurricane Sandy, massive forest fires, and reduced snowpack all have impacts for our electric grid. Here in the Pacific

read >

HELENA, Mont. – Montana’s renewable energy standard has been successful in bringing new economic development to rural parts of Montana and has had little, if any, impact on the rates that customers pay for their electricity, according to a study by state legislators. The Legislature’s Energy and Communications Interim Committee spent the past year and a half assessing the costs and benefits of Montana’s renewable energy standard policy, and in its final report issued today, it determined that because of its benefits, the standard should remain in effect. “The state’s in-depth report

read >

Helena, Mont.- Today, Montana Governor Steve Bullock announced the state's sage grouse conservation plan, designed with stakeholder input, to balance the necessary protection of the species with appropriate development and use of Montana's resources. "We congratulate Governor Bullock for his work to craft a Montana-made solution for sage grouse conservation," said Jeff Fox Montana, policy manager for Renewable Northwest. "This plan is a promising starting point.  With the Governor's ongoing commitment to making sage grouse conservation work for Montana, we can find a pathway forward to

read >

Helena, Mont.-- Today, Montana Governor Bullock introduced a new white paper authored by Montana's Department of Environmental Quality laying out various compliance pathways for the state to reach the emission’s rate goals proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan.  All of the potential pathways include the use of renewable energy as a compliance mechanism. "We appreciate Governor Bullock's solutions-oriented approach to making EPA's Clean Power Plan work for Montana's energy economy," said Renewable Northwest's Montana Policy Manager, Jeff L. Fox.  "Renewable energy

read >

Renewable Northwest is pleased to welcome two new policy staff to their team. Hillary Barbour joined Renewable Northwest as their Policy Director in Portland, Oregon. She will oversee policy activities with key decision makers and allies across the organization’s four states: Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. Kelly Hall has also joined Renewable Northwest as their Washington Policy Advocate, and will be based in Seattle, Washington where she will work in the policy and regulatory arenas to advance renewable resources. “We’re thrilled to have these two new policy staff join our team at

read >

Portland, Ore. -- At 11:04 a.m. on Tuesday, Portland General Electric became the first BPA customer to schedule energy in 15-minute increments. BPA began offering the opportunity to schedule energy in intervals less than 30 minutes for the first time yesterday. Historically, our region’s power producers have scheduled energy transactions on the hour and, more recently, on the half hour. The option of buying, selling and transmitting energy in the shorter time frame provides more market flexibility to respond to unexpected changes in power generation and demand, making more effective use of

read >

Renewable Northwest applauds the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for acting to regulate carbon pollution from existing power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, through its proposed Clean Power Plan. We strongly support EPA adopting new regulations in a strengthened final form by June 1, 2015. Power plants are the nation’s largest source of carbon pollution. Significant policy changes from federal and state regulators must be adopted to keep electric sector carbon emissions from continuing to be a major contributor to catastrophic climate change. EPA’s Clean Power Plan is

read >

Today, Governor Inslee announced a climate initiative that will help Washington reach its carbon emissions reduction goals and support a clean energy economy. Broadly speaking, the plan places a cap on carbon emissions in a way that generates revenue to fund education, transportation and emissions reductions programs. Renewable Northwest commends Governor Inslee for his leadership on climate and his determination to make renewable energy part of the solution. “We look forward to working with Governor Inslee on energy policies that achieve our mutual vision of a clean energy future and a

read >

New polling released today shows that Oregon voters support a transition from coal power to clean, renewable resources by 2025 by a margin of 71%.  The polling, sponsored by the Sierra Club, queried voters on a legislative bill sponsored by Senator Chris Edwards (SD-7) and Representative Tobias Read (HD 27). Renewable Northwest is pleased to see broad support for renewable energy across Oregon. Said Rachel Shimshak, executive director of Renewable Northwest, “Oregon residents have consistently said that they support renewable energy resources because of the economic and environmental

read >

OLYMPIA, Wash.--Washington’s legislature must substantially improve a proposal to transition the state fully off coal-fired electricity and onto renewable energy and energy efficiency. That’s the takeaway message from reactions to a new legislative proposal to replace Puget Sound Energy’s dirty coal-fired electricity from its Colstrip power plant in Montana, which produces as much carbon pollution as half of all passenger cars in Washington. PSE currently receives about 30 percent of its electricity supply from coal, mostly from Colstrip. Investor-owned utilities Avista and Pacific Power

read >

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- State Rep. Jake Fey (D-Tacoma) has introduced House Bill 2073 to enhance the consumer and health benefits of Washington's new renewables and energy efficiency law, Initiative 937 (the Energy Independence Act). Fey's Clean Energy Choice Act provides a framework for discussion of new resource development after 2020, when I-937's new renewables standard plateaus at 15 percent, by allowing utilities to meet future need for power with any combination of energy efficiency savings and qualified new renewables they choose. Post 2020, all affected utilities would continue their

read >

(U.S. Senate) – After the hottest year in recorded history, Senator Jon Tester wants Montana to become a renewable energy leader by tapping into the state’s geothermal energy resources. Tester’s Geothermal Energy Opportunity Act would allow oil and gas developers on public lands to also harness geothermal potential without having to go through a lengthy approval process. The bill would also establish a national goal of producing 50,000 megawatts of geothermal power by 2025. “Montana’s public lands contain some of the best renewable energy sources in the world, and we should be leading the

read >

The announcement made today by the Northwest Power Pool Market Coordination (NWPP MC) effort marks an important step toward modernizing the regional grid so that it can provide reliable and efficient electricity service—and accommodate the increasing demand for clean energy resources. Renewable Northwest has urged Northwest utilities to form a regional Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) for the past three years and also supports the progress made by other EIM efforts in the West.  Read the announcement from Northwest Power Pool MC here. The resolution adopted by the NWPP MC effort today lays out a

read >

In response to the Bonneville Power Administration’s (BPA’s) final Record of Decision (ROD) in the current two-year rate case, Cameron Yourkowski, senior policy manager with Renewable Northwest, commented, “We are deeply disappointed with BPA’s decision to continue its outdated practice of ‘pancaking’ rates charged for transmission of power along the 90-mile section of line in Montana known as the Eastern Intertie.” The decision discourages development of wind energy projects in Montana, will hinder the state’s ability to comply with the anticipated U.S. EPA Clean Power Plan, and runs

read >

Renewable Northwest is pleased the federal government is stepping forward with the Clean Power Plan. This is a watershed event that will bring far-reaching economic and environmental benefits to the country and the Pacific Northwest. The new carbon emissions standards established within the Clean Power Plan will contribute directly to improvements in public health, national security, energy independence, and our quality of life. Additionally the plan will stimulate economic growth by providing a greater opportunity for incorporation of responsible clean renewable energy generation into our

read >

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Costs for meeting the state’s renewable energy targets are going down for all three of Washington’s investor-owned electric companies.  The companies told the Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) they are on track to meet the state’s renewable energy requirements, and are reporting lower costs to meet those requirements.  “These filings reinforce the trend that we have been seeing since the Energy Independence Act (EIA) requirements took effect in 2012,” said David Danner, chairman of the UTC. “Washington’s investor-owned utilities are making investments in clean

read >

Renewable Northwest Analysis Shows Oregon’s Clean Electricity & Coal Transition Plan will eliminate coal and double Renewable Portfolio Standard without increasing costs Today, Renewable Northwest, a nonprofit that supports the environmentally responsible expansion of renewable energy in the Pacific Northwest, released its “Estimated Rate Impacts” analysis report showing the goals of the Clean Electricity & Coal Transition plan can be achieved without significantly increasing electricity costs for customers. Oregon’s investor owned utilities, ratepayer advocates, and environmental

read >

Tuesday, February 9, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan pending further review and a final legal decision. We support the Clean Power Plan and are optimistic it will withstand the objections of its detractors upon thorough review by the Supreme Court. “The region is already undergoing a transition away from fossil fuels toward clean renewable resources – a transition supported by business leaders across the country and a substantial majority of the people throughout the Northwest,” said Rachel Shimshak, Executive Director of

read >

SALEM, Ore. -- Today, Oregon’s House of Representatives kept up the energy behind the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition bill (HB 4036) with a bipartisan vote to pass the clean energy legislation. While many Oregonians used this holiday weekend to enjoy the great outdoors, legislators got down to business in a bipartisan 39 to 20 vote to support a bill which sets Oregon on a path to eliminate coal from powering our homes and businesses, while simultaneously doubling the amount of clean energy -- like wind and solar power -- used in Oregon. The Clean Electricity plan was crafted by

read >

PORTLAND,Ore. – The Oregon Legislative Assembly today approved a landmark bill that will commit the state to eliminate its use of coal power by 2035 and double the amount of clean, renewable energy serving Oregonians to 50 percent by 2040. Otherwise known as the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition plan, Senate Bill 1547-B received final approval on the Senate floor today after the Oregon House approved the bill in a 38-20 bipartisan vote on Tuesday. The Clean Electricity and Coal Transition plan was crafted by bringing diverse parties to the table, including Oregon’s two largest electric

read >

PORTLAND, Oregon – Renewable Northwest commends the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) for its sound rulings on two Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) dockets, March 29. PURPA was passed to promote independent energy generation and renewable energy by requiring utilities to purchase energy from certain independently developed renewable projects. Idaho Power (docket UM 1725) and Pacific Power (docket UM 1734) requested reductions to the size of wind and solar projects eligible for standard PURPA contracts and to the length of PURPA contracts. Renewable Northwest and

read >

HELENA, MT – A new marketing campaign will appeal to Montanan’s ‘can-do’ pioneer spirit to build demand for a new energy economy as regional markets gradually shift toward cleaner forms of energy. ‘Charge!’ was unveiled today by the Montana Renewable Energy Association and Renewable Northwest who say Montana can’t afford to wait and see what happens as west coast energy markets continues to move away from coal produced electricity. “This is about focusing the conversation on what’s really driving change in Montana’s energy economy and taking control of our energy future,” said Jeff Fox of

read >

Olympia, Washington – Washington State Governor Jay Inslee took a critical step in October and charged the state’s Department of Ecology with developing the Clean Air Rule - a comprehensive greenhouse gas reduction regulation that could facilitate the transition to clean energy. A draft of that rule was made public today and we are pleased that Governor Inslee continues to move Washington along the path to a clean-energy future, which is a direction the people of the state want go. “The Department of Ecology has a great opportunity to create a strong rule that not only protects our existing

read >

Renewable Northwest applauds the diverse parties for resolving clean air litigation over Montana’s coal burning power plants, Colstrip Units 1 and 2, and agreeing that they will retire no later than July 2022. In an historic agreement reached between Puget Sound Energy, Talen Energy, Sierra Club, and Montana Environmental Information Center, shutting down two of the nation’s oldest and dirtiest coal-burning power plants will reduce an estimated 5 million tons of carbon pollution each year. “This will create opportunities for Montana to develop its abundant wind and solar energy resources,

read >

BILLINGS, Mont. — Decades after water contamination problems started at the Colstrip coal-burning power plant, an agreement filed in court today between conservation groups, the facility’s owners and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality will result in far safer disposal of millions of tons of toxic coal-ash waste generated each year by burning coal at the plant. The plant’s coal-ash waste is disposed of as wet sludge that is dumped into waste impoundments that have been leaking toxic pollutants into surrounding groundwater for decades. Under today’s agreement, Colstrip’s largest

read >

The President signed an Executive Order today that puts in motion the reversal of policies and programs that address the ominous advance of climate change. This Order moves our economy and our environment in the wrong direction. Northwesterners care deeply about clean air, clean water, and healthy ecosystems. We want to continue to transition away from fossil fuels. The region’s utilities, policy-makers, and advocates have taken great strides to retire aging coal facilities and are working to deploy cleaner, homegrown replacement resources to meet our electricity needs. We should

read >

Can't find us? Don't go too far! Our office has moved down two floors to suite 975 in the Commonwealth Building. For full directions on how to find us, visit: http://www.rnp.org/node/directions-renewable-nw

read >

The President’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord is profoundly disappointing and inconsistent with the reality we are experiencing on the ground, and with the actions our states and region have taken to combat the serious threat posed by climate change. The people of the Northwest care about our quality of life; our local and statewide elected officials, as well as many major businesses, recognize this reality and have taken leadership positions on clean energy policies that continue to move us in the right direction. Contrary to the President’s statement

read >

PORTLAND, Oregon – Late yesterday, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) issued a Draft Record of Decision in its biannual transmission rate case that retains the burdensome Montana Intertie transmission rate. The decision retains a barrier to getting Montana’s high value wind delivered to west coast customers and helping Montana generate new, renewable energy jobs. The Montana Intertie transmission rate is a unique transmission rate that is charged for the first 90 miles of BPA-owned transmission along the Colstrip Transmission System, roughly between Townsend and Garrison, Montana. The

read >

A diverse group of parties has reached a proposed settlement in the Puget Sound Energy (PSE) rate case that represents an important step toward a clean energy future in the Northwest. As a party to the settlement, Renewable Northwest was especially pleased that the proposed agreement includes a conversation with the WUTC, Puget Sound Energy and other parties about repurposing the Colstrip transmission to be available to carry Montana’s energetic and complementary renewable resources to the West Coast. Montana’s clean resources could serve Puget Sound Energy’s customers with cost-competitive

read >

FOLSOM, Calif.| Portland, Ore. — Portland General Electric Company (NYSE: POR) on October 1 became the fifth western utility to successfully begin full participation in the western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM). The Oregon utility and the California Independent System Operator (ISO) recently completed several weeks of extensive systems testing – the culmination of two years of preparatory work and coordination – and have certified that PGE is ready for financially binding participation in the only multi-state real-time energy market in the West. The ISO estimates significant cost benefits

read >
Wind and Sun -- Montana's Next Economic Boom

To learn more about the untapped potential of Montana's abundant, clean, sustainable wind and solar energy resources, CHARGE!

 

Video - Energy Imbalance Market

It is time for the Northwest to modernize its electricity system and create an Energy Imbalance Market.

watch the video >

Video - $5.4 Billion Renewable Energy Investment in Oregon Economy

Renewable energy companies have invested $5.4 billion dollars in Oregon.
Watch our video and learn more!

> watch video

> read press release