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The Northwest wind turbine industry waits to see what California will do

Photo courtesy of Lars Dorr Todd Haynes and Tim Harmon, co-owners of the Lewandowski wind farm, stand atop Turbine No. 3.
 (Photo courtesy of Lars Dorr / The Spokesman-Review)
Photo courtesy of Lars Dorr Todd Haynes and Tim Harmon, co-owners of the Lewandowski wind farm, stand atop Turbine No. 3. (Photo courtesy of Lars Dorr / The Spokesman-Review)

Another surge is taking place just west and south of Spokane County; it's the fast growth in the number of wind turbines going up along the Columbia River and in other plateau areas of central Washington and Oregon.

In Sunday's Spokesman-Review business section, columnist Bert Caldwell will tackle the implications of two California energy measures that would impact the wind turbine industry, a growing player in the Northwest energy picture.

Caldwell's column notes: "More and more of new generating capacity is built for California consumption: 40 percent in 2009, 66 percent this year. Drive Interstate 90 up the Vantage Hill or through the Kittitas Valley and the size of the investment is new windmills is breathtaking."

If either of of those California measures is adopted, some of central Washington's turbines might have to find new power customers.

To bone up or get more information on the topic, we want to mention a study produced by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, in the Tri-Cities.  While this study is a bit wonky, one could learn a lot about wind energy by poking around and getting familiar with the key issues. The study is "Long Term Modeling of Wind Energy in the United States."   It's at this link.

 




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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.






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