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Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words letters@seattletimes.com.

April 17, 2011 at 4:00 PM

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Wind-power producers fight shutdown

Posted by Letters editor

A place to hide

After reading this story, it makes me wonder and maybe re-evaluate a few thoughts [“Wind-power producers fight turbine shutdown,” NWWednesday, April 13].

For years, we’ve heard about conserving. Buy lower-wattage bulbs, get restrictors for your shower, only take two-minute showers, install new toilets that only flush with two shots glasses of water.

Buy more fuel-efficient cars, drive less, keep your tires inflated and drive like you have an egg under your accelerator. And for gosh’s sake, take the bus.

Conserve. Conserve. Conserve. Conserve.

So here it is years later. I have my heat turned off and all the bulbs are now the little screw-in fluorescent bulbs. My family is huddled around one light bulb in the evening trying to stay warm; we wash our clothes once a week in a water tub of cold rainwater; we use what sun we can get to dry our clothes. During the winter we can just crack the ice off them to help dry them faster.

Now the only problem I see is the more we conserve, the more we pay. I keep seeing our rates increase. I can look over the years at our records and see that I’ve used less and less power but I’m continually getting charged more and more.

The BPA said it had so much water they had to run all the extra through the turbine and just give the power away for free.

I don’t ever remember seeing my power bill get a credit because the power company got free power.

I swear, I’d just like to go find a deserted island somewhere and go hide.

— Doug Gentry, Enumclaw

Salmon solution

BPA is struggling with high-water operations in the Columbia and Snake rivers and too much wind capacity. The result is too much electrical generation and too much uncontrolled spill that produces too much nitrogen gas in the water that can be detrimental to both juvenile and adult salmon.

Wind-power capacity could double by 2015. Wind, a renewable resource that does not directly impact salmon, is being considered for curtailment partially because of generation from the lower Snake River dams.

BPA and its federal partners are confronted with listed salmon and what to do about them. For Snake River salmon, the most important populations in the Columbia Basin, lower Snake River dam removal is the best recovery option.

A way out of this dilemma — take 1,000 aMW (average megawatt) out of the federal hydropower system via lower Snake River dam removal. That will reduce over-generation and allow the growing wind industry to contribute the much needed renewable resource. No dams, no nitrogen.

— Bert Bowler, Snake River Salmon Solutions, Boise, Idaho

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