Posted by in Letters to the Editor | July 27, 2012

Upgrade existing facilities instead

Thanks for the informative article “Dam fight grows.” I have long enjoyed Bill Sheets’ stories.What really stood out were Steve Klein’s statements. I find it ironic that he talks about “low-cost power” when the cost just to study this project is in the millions. And why spend so much to study if you don’t plan to build?

With so much opposition in just the studying stage, wouldn’t it be a wiser use of ratepayer dollars to improve the Snohomish County PUD’s existing facilities — like the Jackson Hydroelectric Project, which, if upgraded, would generate far more power than the Sunset Falls project?

With all the protections against dams on the Sky, how is it that the PUD can blatantly ignore the designations and state legislation (RCW 79.72)? If this project satisfied most of the PUD’s energy needs, I’d start to understand. But the PUD has admitted in public meetings that the Sunset Falls project wouldn’t even satisfy 1 percent of its needs. That’s like a handful of wind turbines, like the turbines that are being paid to shut down due to the oversupply of power at the BPA.

Also incredibly inappropriate is that the PUD calls the Sunset Falls project “renewable.” Renewable? By whose definition? Washington state defines projects eligible for a renewable energy credit as “an eligible renewable resource where the generation facility is not powered by fresh water” (Initiative 937). Which means it’s not renewable energy. What else do they need to translate for us?

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