MONTESANO, Wash. - The Grays Harbor PUD worked for about 2 hours to restore power to some Montesano residents Thursday morning, after a car struck a pole just before 7. Montesano Police Chief Brett Vance reports no injuries, the car apparently went off the shoulder and was pulled into the ditch, striking the pole on Beacon Avenue.
Power was restored to approximately 800 customers just in time for school to start at Beacon Elementary.
Richland, WA - Plans for the first major wind farm in Western Washington have been canceled because of federal restrictions to protect a threatened seabird, the marbled murrelet.
Richland-based Energy Northwest and four southwest Washington utilities spent four years and more than $4 million trying to put 32 wind turbines on Radar Ridge near Naselle.
The Tri-City Herald reports Energy Northwest announced the cancellation Wednesday at a board meeting in Portland. The Group was working with Grays Harbor, Pacific, Clallam and Mason County public utility districts on the project that would have generated enough electricity for about 18,000 homes.
Energy Northwest says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service imposed "untenable" restrictions on the wind farm because studies showed one bird could have been harmed every two years.
SHELTON, Wash. - Mason County PUD No. 3 commissioners Wednesday conducted a public hearing on proposed electricity rate increases. The financial impacts of looming renewable energy purchases and an increase in price for wholesale electricity supplies purchased from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) are among the main reasons PUD 3 is considering increases this year.
The adoption of the 2012 budget in December anticipated a retail electricity rate increase, which includes a three percent change in the cost for energy consumption and a ten cent per day increase in the daily customer charge. The last increase in electrical rates was in 2009.
Commissioners will consider adoption of new rates at their April 10 regular business meeting.
QUINAULT, Wash. - The Grays Harbor PUD tells us the planned outage sheduled for today, Thursday, January 19, 2012 on South Shore Road in the Lake Quinault area will not take place because the PUD was able to conduct the work yesterday during the power outage that occurred in the northern part of the county. The purpose for the outage was to remove a temporary line that was installed for construction of a new bridge over Gatton Creek and replace it with a permanent line.
ABERDEEN, Wash. - The Grays Harbor Public Utility District (PUD) has learned it has been awarded about $63.3 million in federal Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs) to help finance construction of the Radar Ridge Wind Project, slated to be the first large-scale wind project in Western Washington.
“This is very good news,” said PUD Commission Vice-President Truman Seely. “These low interest bonds will save our ratepayers about $19 million in financing costs as we work to bring this project to market.”
ABERDEEN, Wash. - Grays Harbor PUD announced today the completion of the sale of renewable generation assets and a substation to Harbor Paper LLC. The sale paves the way for the buyer to restart the paper mill in Hoquiam that has been in receivership since its closure in March of 2011. The sale closed simultaneously with another sale agreement between the buyer and the receiver for the mill facility.
“The generation assets and substation serving the facility were a critical part of the deal to sell the mill and get it up and running again,” said Tom Casey, President of the Grays Harbor PUD Board of Commissioners. “This is the best case scenario for our community. It means the renewable generation assets at the facility will continue to benefit our community by supporting about 175 jobs as part of an operating mill.”
The PUD will receive $540,000 from the sale that includes three biomass turbines and a substation that exclusively serves the facility. “This price is reflective of the market and economic conditions,” said Rick Lovely, General Manager of Grays Harbor PUD. “We’ve looked into other options and this is the highest dollar value back to the PUD with the greatest benefit to our community. The other options were to remove the generation assets and try to sell them or scrap them. Either option would have required additional costs for removal and would likely have resulted in a lower purchase price than what we are receiving from this sale. We are pleased with this outcome and want to convey to John Begley and Harbor Paper LLC our best wishes for their success.”