The management of the Chelan PUD keeps insisting that some entity, perhaps Washington State, says hydro is not renewable. If these comments are based on the passage of Initiative 937 in 2006 their comments are wrong.
Manager Steve Wright recently met with the Chelan City Council and as reported on the Go-Lake-Chelan website, Manager Wright responded to a question by Cameron Morehouse about getting hydro power listed as renewable. Manager Wright indicated the PUD needs to get creative with that issue. What the PUD needs to do is be truthful not get creative.
If the question by Cameron Morehouse related to Initiative 937 it is my opinion Manager Wright should have put that issue to rest and clarified that the State of Washington has never indicated hydro was not renewable.
Initiative 937 had nothing to do with a designation of hydro as renewable or not renewable. I 937 was written to give the voters in Washington State an opportunity to increase by 15% the amount of renewable power utilized by the major utilities in the State. Renewable hydro accounts for close to 80% of the electrical power in the State. I 937 didn’t say that hydro wasn’t renewable. Hydro has always been renewable.
Initiative 937 did allow for efficiency improvements of hydro to count towards the 15% and the Chelan PUD has met all of these requirements for several more years.
All forms of renewable power have some drawbacks and no renewable source of power is 100% renewable. It appears that the Chelan PUD likes to keep the local conservatives energized by refusing to clarify what Initiative 937 accomplished. By approving Initiative 937 the people in the State of Washington made the Chelan PUD mad that even with hydro being renewable they are now required to participate in a program to add 15% more renewable power to their overall utilization. The Chelan PUD needs to get creative about supporting other renewable sources and not spend time being mad at Initiative 937 and the progressive voters in Washington State.