The Wenatchee World

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This Afternoon

Hi46° Chance Showers

Tonight

Lo32° Slight Chc Rain/Snow

Saturday

Hi48° Sunny

Saturday Night

Lo27° Clear

Sunday

Hi48° Sunny

Sunday Night

Lo30° Slight Chc Snow

Monday

Hi48° Slight Chc Snow

Monday Night

Lo25° Partly Cloudy

Tuesday

Hi42° Sunny

Tuesday Night

Lo20° Mostly Clear

How much does the wind cost?

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In 2006 we people of Washington voted to force ourselves to buy an ever-increasing share of our electricity from windmills. The law set out in Initiative 937 said “renewable” sources, but it might as well have said wind power, since abundant hydroelectricity is deliberately excluded, leaving wind the only “renewable” power source that is remotely practical.

And, if the goal was to force investment in wind power, it worked. Just drive to Ellensburg to see the whirling results. The region now has a wind power capacity, on paper, of 4,500 megawatts. That is certainly a lot, four Seattles, even if it only happens in moments of heavy bluster. There will be more. The law requires large utilities to obtain 9 percent of their power from renewables by 2016 and 15 percent by 2020.

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