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Wind Power News: Washington


These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.

Lawmakers from 9 states vow to put a price on carbon

Dive Brief: Lawmakers in nine states have formed a coalition to strengthen their efforts at tackling climate issues at the state level, seeking to put a price on carbon dioxide emissions while searching for market-based solutions. Only California has an economy-wide tax on carbon, and some form of that appears to be where the coalition is headed – even if all of the states involved are not on board. Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) is opposed to a carbon tax and this . . . Complete story »

February 1, 2018 • Opinions, WashingtonPrint storyE-mail story

A Washington State carbon tax: All pain, no gain

With respect to Washington governor Jay Inslee’s renewed proposal for a “carbon” tax on that state’s greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions, a number to keep closely in mind is: 2/1000 of a degree. That would be the global temperature effect in the year 2100 if Washington were to reduce its GHG emissions to zero immediately. That figure comes from the Environmental Protection Agency’s climate model, under a set of assumptions that exaggerate the effects of emissions reductions. Obviously, the effect of the . . . Complete story »

January 16, 2018 • Letters, WashingtonPrint storyE-mail story

Letter: A Clarification on Black Hills Audubon Stance Toward Wind Project

We at Black Hills Audubon appreciate the generally excellent article in The Chronicle by Jordan Nailon concerning our views and concerns about the proposed Skookumchuck Wind Energy Project. However, our potential support for the project is conditional, so the headline, “Black Hills Audubon Society Backs Skookumchuck Wind Turbine Project, Notes Concerns,” appears to overstate our position. As the article states later, we are willing to support wind energy projects conditional that sufficient mitigation is provided for the protection of birds . . . Complete story »

January 13, 2018 • WashingtonPrint storyE-mail story

Black Hills Audubon Society backs Skookumchuck wind turbine project, notes concerns

A controversial proposal to erect 38 wind power turbines near the Lewis-Thurston county line has a surprising supporter in its corner – the Black Hills Audubon Society. The electricity-generating wind turbines are known to cause deaths to birds who fail to navigate outside of the path of the spinning blades. Those blades can reach up to 486 feet in rotational diameter while sitting atop a pole that can stand up to 344 feet on its own. Nationally, wind power turbines have . . . Complete story »

January 11, 2018 • Letters, WashingtonPrint storyE-mail story

Wind turbines still problematic for wildlife

Justyna Tomta’s article on the Skookumchuck Wind Energy Project (Dec. 16, 2017) states that “Questions on the effects the turbines would have on the marbled murrelet were also raised, leading to the change in plans.” The concerns of the Black Hills Audubon Society (which represents members in Lewis, Thurston, and Mason counties) as well as the Willapa Hills and Rainier Audubon Societies expressed in a meeting with RES-Americas about the marbled murrelet (a state-endangered seabird that nests far inland) are . . . Complete story »

December 27, 2017 • Letters, WashingtonPrint storyE-mail story

Bird and bat deaths not worth output of wind turbines

We wish to commend Ms. Maria Ruth, for pointing out the perilous conditions for the rare “murrelet nesting habitat on private and federal lands. RES-Americas’ own radar surveys of marbled murrelets in the project area estimate a take of two to three murrelets per year for the next 30 years.” She points out that even these small “takes” are devilishly problematic. Developers commonly express inadequate actual “takes”, and never to our understanding, outline proper mitigation plans, nor the rape of . . . Complete story »

December 22, 2017 • Letters, WashingtonPrint storyE-mail story

Concerns about bird deaths due to wind turbines remain after project changes

In response to Chronicle reporter Justyna Tomtas’s article, “In updated plan, all 38 wind turbines to be built in Lewis County,” I’d like to offer some clarity on RES-Americas’ recent decision to reduce the scope of the project. The article states that “the turbines potential to ‘take’ – either kill or threaten birds – was also raised (to RES-Americas)” and that “questions on the effects the turbines would have on the marbled murrelet were also raised, leading to the change in plans.” . . . Complete story »

December 13, 2017 • WashingtonPrint storyE-mail story

In updated plan, 38 wind turbines to be located in Lewis County

The Skookumchuck Wind Energy project continues to move forward, although the parameters have changed again, with all of the 38 turbines located in Lewis County as part of updated plans. Sean Bell, senior development manager of RES Americas, provided a brief update to the Board of Lewis County Commissioners on Monday. Once completed, the wind turbines are expected to produce 136.9 megawatts of renewable energy. Once it is developed, it will be sold to Puget Sound Energy, Bell said. The . . . Complete story »

November 4, 2017 • WashingtonPrint storyE-mail story

Wind turbine project for Thurston/Lewis counties moves forward

The Skookumchuck wind energy project, first pitched in Thurston County more than a year ago, continues to inch its way through the land-use process. A Colorado-based company called RES Americas proposes to build 51 wind turbines on Weyerhaeuser property, near the Skookumchuck reservoir, that straddles the Thurston-Lewis county line. The company, which has long worked with Puget Sound Energy, has said it intends to “interconnect” with the utility. A memorandum of understanding was recently approved by Lewis County Commissioners designating . . . Complete story »

October 26, 2017 • WashingtonPrint storyE-mail story

51-Turbine Skookumchuck Wind Energy Project moves forward

Thurston County is requesting proposals for qualified firms to prepare a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) for review of a planned 51-turbine wind-powered electrical generation project on 19,654-acres of land that straddles the Thurston and Lewis county boundary, less than 7 miles southwest from Clear Lake. The wind turbines would be located on Weyerhaeuser timber lands east and south of Skookumchuck Lake. The proposal by Skookumchuck Wind Energy Project LLC includes a 5-acre operations and maintenance yard, a 15-mile electrical . . . Complete story »

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