alternative energy

This is the second part of a three-part series, “What A Waste: Why We Have To Stop Throwing Food Away.”

A pile of food waste can make rich compost for the garden. But some Northwest companies are going beyond composting. We discovered three companies that are turning it into energy to power homes, race cars and city buses.

Paying Wind Generators Not To Produce Power

Nov 13, 2014

The Bonneville Power Administration operates the federal hydropower dams in the Columbia Basin. In springtime, during snow melt, there can be so much water in the river that – combined with the output of the dozens of wind farms that have cropped up in Oregon and Washington – there’s more electricity in the system than anyone can use.

Dam operators could dump the extra water over the spillways. But as the BPA’s Doug Johnson explains, that causes problems for salmon and other fish.

Solar panel manufacturer SolarWorld announced Thursday it will be expanding its plant in Oregon, adding a new production line and around 200 jobs in Hillsboro.

SolarWorld U.S. President Mukesh Dulani said the expansion represents "a great turnaround" for the company, which has been fighting to maintain its market share amid fierce competition from Chinese manufacturers.

A large swath of the Atlantic Ocean could soon be used to generate electricity, as a U.S. agency proposes opening more than 1,000 square miles of ocean to wind energy projects. The area is off the coast of Massachusetts, which has been working on the proposal with federal officials.

Wind energy
Flickr Photo/Alex Abian

Wind can be a very significant power provider in the United States, especially in the Midwest. Environmental lawyer and writer Philip Warburg talks about wind as a resource, including how it relates to the economy and climate change. He spoke at Seattle's Town Hall on December 4, 2012. The talk was introduced by Denis Hayes, CEO of the Bullitt Foundation and coordinator of the first Earth Day.

Earthfix

Snohomish County Public Utility District wants to put two turbines 150 feet below the waves near Whidbey Island. The pilot project would generate enough power for about 20 homes annually. The new report from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says that the project will not harm the environment.

Aaron Kunz

Cloud seeding has been around for decades. It started out as a way to make rain for growing crops. But these days in the Mountain West, it’s used as a way to make more snow.

GLENEDEN BEACH, Ore. - It goes without saying that the Pacific Ocean is vast. So it may come as a surprise to hear the sea described as "crowded." Perhaps even too crowded to make room for the nascent industry of wave and tidal energy.  Taxpayers and investors have pumped tens of millions of dollars into finding ways to turn the ocean's power into electricity.  In recent weeks, high stakes negotiations to identify wave energy sites on the Oregon Coast are finally getting somewhere.