Washington State utility says, “No more wind”

September 21, 2020, 11:51AMANS Nuclear Cafe

An article published over the weekend in the Tacoma News Tribune reports that the Benton Public Utility District in Kennewick, Wash., is saying no to more wind farms. Even though utilities are moving to decarbonize the grid, a report from the Benton PUD says that more wind farms “will contribute very little to keeping the regional power grid reliable and will not help Benton PUD solve our seasonal energy deficit problems.”

The article goes on to say that more wind development, which will mean more grid instability, will lead to rolling blackouts during seasonal peaks in energy demand. “While development of wind farms may be politically fashionable and appeal to many in the general public as a harmonization of nature with electricity production, the science and economics indicate powering modern civilization with intermittent generation resources like wind and solar power comes at a high financial and environmental cost.”

According to the article, Benton PUD is advocating the use of natural gas to stabilize the grid while awaiting the deployment of small modular reactors. The Benton PUD report, the article notes, says that more investment in wind energy will hinder the development of next-generation nuclear.

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