renewable energy

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters / FLICKR Creative Commons

Data centers that house YouTube videos and Gmail messages need power constantly. Google announced today that all of the energy it consumes globally — including at its data center in The Dalles, Oregon — will soon operate without directly relying on fossil fuels that contribute to climate change.

More than a third of the credits issued under a tax credit program for renewable energy companies in Oregon went to problematic projects. That's according to an independent analysis issued Thursday by the Oregon Secretary of State's office.

Public utility districts in Washington have the right to place power lines through state trust lands. That was the decision from the Washington Supreme Court.

Harvey McDaniel / Wikimedia

Oregon and Washington could transition from fossil fuels to renewable power by the year 2030.

According to new reports, developing those renewables would create hundreds of thousands of jobs for the region.

Solar, wind, hydropower, biomass, geothermal and waste-to-energy electricity production could account for 98 percent of Oregon’s and Washington’s electricity needs in just 15 years. That’s according to new reports out from the Wind Energy Foundation, a group that promotes wind development.

Oregon Solar Manufacturer Expanding, Adding 200 Jobs

Oct 31, 2014

Solar panel manufacturer SolarWorld has announced a 10 million dollar expansion at its Hillsboro plant . 

The expansion will add a new solar panel production line and around 200 jobs at the company's U.S. headquarters in Hillsboro.

It will increase the plant's capacity by 40 percent and bring the total number of employees up to around 900.

SolarWorld president Makesh Dulani says the expansion marks a turnaround for the company. Many thought U.S. solar manufacturing couldn't survive fierce competition from China.

Scott Ableman / Flickr

There’s been a lot of hype around geothermal power. This type of power uses heat from below the earth’s surface to provide a steady, renewable source of energy. But the field’s been slow to take off. With help from federal grants, several Northwest researchers are hoping to push the technology forward. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Visual Library

British Columbia has staked out a negotiating position on a cross-border water treaty that puts it at odds with public utilities and rate payers in the U.S. Northwest. At issue is whether and how to renew the 50-year-old Columbia River Treaty. 

Energy Storage Battery Heads To The Market

Feb 7, 2014
Jeffrey G. Katz / Wikimedia Commons

The push to build supersized batteries capable of storing unused energy for later use on the grid is taking a big step forward: private companies are interested in putting such technology into commercial production.

Floating Offshore Wind Farm Gets A Green Light

Feb 6, 2014
Kim Hansen / Wikimedia

A proposal to build a floating wind farm off the coast of Southern Oregon took a step forward Wednesday. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Gov. John Kitzhaber announced that a Seattle developer is now free to submit plans for the project. 

Energy and the environment both got brief mentions in President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night. The president pushed natural gas and solar power as ways to reduce carbon pollution.

Just like consumers who postponed buying new cars during the recent recession, government agencies also put off vehicle replacements. But now procurement officers are getting busy again.

A renewable energy consultant and the Oregon Institute of Technology have come up with an unusual financing plan for an even more unusual power plant idea.

Dept. of Energy

The Northwest's second geothermal power plant has entered service. A Boise-based company called U.S. Geothermal built the project at Neal Hot Springs, near the small town of Vale in eastern Oregon.

Proposal For 2014 Would Change Oregon's Energy Standards

Oct 26, 2012
U.S. Army Corps

Even as voters decide this year’s ballot measures, initiative activists are already preparing for 2014. One new measure filed in Oregon would allow more power from hydroelectric dams to be part of the state’s renewable energy requirements.

Since 1978, one eastern Washington county has out-produced all other wheat-growing counties in the U.S. But what to do with all the leftover straw? Reporting for EarthFix, Courtney Flatt explains a group of students at Washington State University has found a way to provide power from farmers’ scraps.

An Underused Resource In Washington: Forest Biomass

Mar 13, 2012
Photo credit: Walter Siegmund / Wikimedia commons

Renewable energy is growing on trees in Washington, and right now, much of it is going up in smoke.

That’s the word from Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, who has released the results of a study on forest biomass. Goldmark says industry is currently using only about a third of the woody biomass that could be sustainably harvested and then converted into liquid fuel or heat for electricity generation.

Wind Energy Turbines / Photo credit: Wikimedia user AnnawJjacobs/ Wikimedia Commons

The Bonneville Power Administration has offered a solution for its dispute with wind energy producers. As Rob Manning reports, BPA's offer of compensation is not appeasing wind developers.