LETTER TO THE EDITOR | PSE sold off power
September 23, 2009 · Updated 10:42 AM
To the editor:
PSE/Macquarie started off in true form by secretly selling all its green wind energy to California. Wind power we paid for and will soon need to meet laws mandating more green power.
Now a letter by the mayors of Langley, Coupeville and Oak Harbor urging us to pay more for “green power” from PSE — WHAT GREEN POWER? The only real green power PSE has is wind and they SOLD that to CALIFORNIA, so what are you actually buying?
I applaud the mayor’s desire for green, but I wish they had done some homework first. I am sure they did not know about the PSE wind power sale to California; few did. Sadly, the mayors might be wasting your tax dollars on something not really so green. A solar demonstration project would be great, but at what cost? Perhaps that project should be independent of PSE and something the county and/or port commissions should do?
PSE is putting on a dog-and-pony show, spending a lot of your rate money to convince us how great they are to blunt another Whidbey PUD push in 2010. Don’t be seduced by phony terms; Green Power, Clean Coal, Clean Diesel — these terms are just lipstick on a pig.
Some interesting quotes:
Seattle Times Business and Technology section: “Puget quietly auctioned off the power from its wind farms in December, while its $7.4 billion sale to investors led by Australia’s Macquarie Group awaited final state regulatory approval.”
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission: “We were a bit surprised by the deal,” said Ken Elgin of the commission staff. “The cost of the wind farms is built into the electric rates set by the WUTC.”
Reality check: Our Whidbey PUD could be one year into formation. Many local jobs would already be created, and Whidbey desperately needs those jobs. A Whidbey PUD could be about a year away from full operation, and the low-cost Bonneville Power would start phasing in. The PUD cost study, for rates in year two, are just about what we are paying PSE today.
With a Whidbey PUD, we could have control over true green projects and not be caught up in the PSE fantasy version of green. Perhaps we should give the PUD another look?