Wind power coming to the Northwest? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Wind power coming to the Northwest?

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PORTLAND, Oregon - A new report says wind energy will play a growing role in meeting the future power needs of the Northwest, but it isn't a perfect system just yet. While wind energy sounds attractive, specialists gathered in Portland said it can be fickle. Sometimes it blows, sometimes it doesn't. And while wind is free, they said getting its energy from a rural windfarm to an urban wall socket is not.

Preliminary estimates indicate the addition of some wind sources could raise a residential electric bill from between three to seven dollars a month because of costs from integrating wind power into the regional energy network. As of now Northwest wind power generates about sixteen-hundred megawatts, two-hundred of which go to California. Questions remain on costs and methods of integrating wind into the regional power system, and how those costs can be recovered.

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