California Greens Could Cost Washington State Families a Lot

Chris Field
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Posted: Sep 20, 2009 9:40 PM
From today's Seattle Times:
California may come hunting soon for large amounts of wind power from the Pacific Northwest, and that has many Washington utilities worried about increased competition and higher electric bills for consumers.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an executive order last week requiring California to get 33 percent of its energy from green sources such as wind, solar and geothermal by 2020. That's up from an earlier 20 percent mandate.

Given California's population of about 38 million people, the move is expected to create a major shift in the world of renewable energy.

"This is really going to be felt from the tip of northern British Columbia down to Mexico and all across the West," said Steve Ernst, editor of the Northwest energy-policy newsletter Clearing Up.

One government estimate says California would need an additional 5,700 average megawatts of renewable energy — enough to power more than 3.7 million homes. Washington utilities, by comparison, are projected to need an additional 1,000 average megawatts of renewable energy by 2020 to meet their own requirements mandated by Initiative 937. An average megawatt is 1 megawatt of electricity delivered continuously for one year.
Read the whole thing here.