The proposal from two Northwest tribes to remove three main-stem Columbia River dams launches a much more contentious, consequential and public confrontation in a long-running argument over this region's energy future. No one is getting out of this untouched.

"Electrification and Natural Gas Decarbonization: Opportunities and Challenges for the Northwest Utility Industry," an Oct. 22 conference in Seattle co-presented by CJB Energy Economics and NewsData, is designed to help attendees expand their understanding of those topics and become better informed and more prepared as they unfold. Please join us!

New technologies developed by Whooshh Technologies and Natel Energy hold many promises for both adult and juvenile fish passage at hydroelectric projects, while at the same time increasing the potential for more carbon-free generation. Are the wheels of change too slow to take advantage?

SUMMARY: "Electrification and Natural Gas Decarbonization: Opportunities and Challenges for the Northwest Utility Industry," co-presented by CJB Energy Economics and NewsData, is coming to Seattle Oct. 22. The event is intended provide timely, objective and useful information--from a diverse…

NewsData is excited to announce a new digital era for our company and its publications, featuring an engaging new website and delivery of online newsletters. This digital service is designed to benefit subscribers and enable us to build on our foundation as a trusted source of regional energy news/information.

In this second part of a two-part series, guest columnist Roger Gray, president/CEO of PNGC Power, offers suggestions to help the region address grid-reliability issues and transition to a 21st century power system. The first column focused on identifying and outlining his grid-reliability concerns.

"Electrification and Natural Gas Decarbonization: Opportunities and Challenges for the Northwest Utility Industry," co-presented by CJB Energy Economics and NewsData, is coming to Seattle Oct. 22. We invite you to attend and deepen your understanding of these topics, their implications and potential paths forward.

In this first of a two-part series, guest columnist Roger Gray, president and CEO of PNGC Power, writes that the Northwest faces a grid-reliability problem as the nature of resources shifts from largely controllable thermal plants and hydropower to variable renewables such as wind and solar. "Put simply, we need a 21st century set of grid and market tools to deliver a 21st century regional power portfolio reliably and cost-effectively," according to Gray.

If land, sea, air and space are the four traditional theaters of warfare, then cyberspace is the fifth. As described by a new book with the title “The Fifth Domain,” and as detailed in intelligence reports, the U.S. electricity grid is a prime battlefield in that new theater of operations.

SUMMARY: A peek at energy innovations came at two late June gatherings, one in Portland, the other in Seattle. Together, they underscored the evolutionary trends toward a more decarbonized, distributed and digital energy future, along with increasing flexibility and customer choice.

SUMMARY: Pacific Gas & Electric has told the world it expects to file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection. The proceedings will have meaning for three constituencies—ratepayers, utility-stock investors and other utilities.

SUMMARY: This is the third in an occasional series of question-and-answer articles featuring public-power utility officials from around the Northwest. This version comes from Superintendent Chris Robinson of Tacoma Power.

SUMMARY: The Oct. 9 explosion and rupture of a major natural gas pipeline in British Columbia happened more than 300 miles north of the U.S.-Canada border, but its effects reverberated beyond the province into the U.S. Northwest. This first of a two-part column explores the incident and its …

SUMMARY: Well-publicized power outages in recent months—some of short duration, one that has lingered for months—are a reminder of some unresolved questions about the reliability of the electricity transmission and delivery systems in this country. The outages, and the system’s vulnerability…

SUMMARY: Among new methods being developed to more effectively evaluate which habitat-restoration actions are the most beneficial and to measure how much such actions contribute to salmon and steelhead recovery, Idaho’s integrated rehabilitation assessment is one of the more promising, its p…

SUMMARY: Before we completely close the book on 2017, the editors of Clearing Up have compiled some of the top regional energy stories and developments of the past year. From mergers to expanding markets to new tariffs that allow access to green energy, the year brought several milestone ene…

SUMMARY: In the second part of a two-part column, guest columnist Phil Jones explores deep-decarbonization studies for the Pacific Northwest and the need for even greater energy efficiency, accelerated electric-vehicle deployment, carbon pricing and regional collaboration around the Western …

SUMMARY: Crafting market rules to allocate transmission costs for a potential regional grid is akin to settling a large dinner bill among dozens of people. Which is to say, it’s complicated. Nonetheless, Western stakeholders have commented on California ISO’s proposal on options for transmis…

SUMMARY: Three seemingly separate news items suggest some trends and issues to watch in 2017. The transportation grid may get tied even more to the electricity grid, but the demand for more electricity from renewables means more fights over where to put generating facilities.

SUMMARY: A new year is a useful time to take stock and look to the past as well as the future. We presented our top-five 2016 stories last week (CU No. 1781 [6]), and here we offer some key regional energy issues/themes we expect to follow in 2017. Although this list is neither exhaustive no…

SUMMARY: The pace of change in the utility industry seemed to quicken in 2016, as Northwest utilities continued to navigate into some uncharted waters. Oregon and Washington moved further away from coal, prompted by ongoing consumer preferences and gubernatorial actions for more renewable en…

SUMMARY: Motorists would appear to be the big winners in the current trend line of gasoline prices falling to $2 a gallon or less and oil falling to $30 a barrel. But electric utilities also feel the effects. Those are generally positive, and not just because they’re spending less to fill up…

SUMMARY: I recently talked about energy to the Rotary Club of Seattle Northeast, at the invitation of the club’s president, a golfing friend. My talk was intended for non-energy professionals; I share this slightly revised version of my Jan. 14 presentation as one take—for a general audience…

SUMMARY: Last year brought the first documented hacker-caused blackout. While this happened in Europe, the U.S. should not consider itself safe—even after years of warnings, significant gaps in cybersecurity are still widespread. The decentralization of the grid opens up more infection point…

The year 2016 is getting off to an interesting start, in terms of regional energy developments—as the articles in this week’s Clearing Up indicate. But in bravely forging onward into the new year, we take a moment to review the stories that most held our attention in 2015—being mindful of Sa…

Reaching a 50-percent-by-2030 renewables portfolio standard in California could be quite a challenge, and the state will have to deploy a number of tools to make it happen. There’s no silver bullet. But there will be a lot of spaghetti thrown at a wall.

Summary: Utility-scale biomass was considered a promising Northwest resource back in 2009. But since then, the region has added only three such projects, and three others were cancelled, partially from emissions concerns. But the technology is far from dead—it’s being successfully applied in…

Summary: Maybe it won’t generate the headlines of a carbon tax, but the issue of security—for physical assets, data and networks controlling the grid—should be at the top of the list for the utility and energy sector for 2015.

The ball dropped on the New Year just nine days ago, but before we can officially wave good-bye to 2014, the rules of journalism require that we take a look back at the most important stories of the year. As is always the case, it was another busy year in energy policy and resource developme…

I was cleaning out a file cabinet last week and came across a treasure trove of old articles, studies, speeches, legal briefs, hate mail, and other assorted information hiding there since the mid-1990s, when I first starting covering the fish beat. After a morning spent in a random read thro…

Hello, this is the Internet of Things checking in. Your refrigerator reports that you’re low on eggs, milk, bread and beer. We’ve gone ahead and placed your order with the online grocery delivery service—well, except for the beer. You might want to ease up on that.

[Editor’s Note: Bill Drummond, outgoing administrator of Bonneville, and Anita Decker, outgoing chief operating officer, issued the following statement to BPA employees this week. Clearing Up agreed to publish the statement, as the two no longer have access to the BPA email system.]

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