The Wenatchee World

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Flash Flood Watch issued August 21 at 7:38AM PDT until August 22 at 9:00PM PDT by NWS

...STORMS ON FRIDAY MAY PRODUCE FLASH FLOODING OR MUD SLIDES OVER NORTH CASCADE BURN SCARS... .SLOW MOVING SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED ON FRIDAY OVER THE NORTH WASHINGTON CASCADES. LOCALLY HEAVY RAIN WILL BE A POSSIBILITY IN AREAS RECENTLY BURNED BY WILDFIRES...INCLUDING THE CARLTON... CHIWAUKUM... LITTLE BRIDGE CREEK... DUNCAN... MILLS

Today

Hi83° Sunny

Tonight

Lo58° Slight Chc Thunderstorms

Friday

Hi80° Chance Showers

Friday Night

Lo59° Chance Showers

Saturday

Hi83° Sunny

Saturday Night

Lo58° Mostly Clear

Sunday

Hi84° Mostly Sunny

Sunday Night

Lo64° Partly Cloudy

Monday

Hi86° Sunny

Monday Night

Lo61° Mostly Clear

The cost of too much wind rises

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Wind is free. Converting it to electricity is not. It appears the cost falls to us, even for power we do not want or need. The generators of wind power demand we pay for electricity they do not make, and ensure their profits from taxpayer subsidies they do not receive. The federal government this month reaffirmed this is the desired policy, whatever alternative plans people in the Northwest might make. Blame sun and gravity. In spring snow melts, wind blows, and temperatures are mild. At times dams and windmills produce more electricity than we can use. When this happens, something has to give. Nuclear, gas and coal generators shut down, and receive hydropower from the Bonneville Power Administration to compensate. Windmills, however, are built to generate federal tax credits and supply utilities forced to buy their product to meet portfolio requirements. On brief occasions, when dams spill as much water as environmental laws allow, BPA has ordered wind generation curtailed, offering free hydropower as a substitute. That did not satisfy. It then offered to partly compensate wind generators for lost revenue, and that did not satisfy. Then it offered to have Northwest ratepayers pay half the cost of the wind generators’ lost subsidies. That did not satisfy. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission earlier this month ruled BPA had not been sufficiently generous. The 50-50 split is not good enough. Wind generators propose even more costly arrangements, such as paying utilities to take away pesky cheap excess hydropower to make room on the grid for more costly, subsidized wind. FERC also takes decisions once made in the Northwest and moves them to Washington, D.C. It complicates the setting of power rates, and more.

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