Jonathan Lewis of Hire Electric’s Renewable Energy Division will be presenting at this month’s GTA Featured Event: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 6:30pm White Buffalo Wine Bar & Bistro Hood River, OR. Free to GTA members. $10 for non members. GTA Announcement.
Come learn about the history of Rural Electrification in 1936 and the Bonniville Power Administration’s early days. “Power to the People” was the motto for the movement. Woody Guthrie wrote songs about it. 1000’s of jobs were created. People died. The Grange organized. Lives were changed forever. Wars were won. Lights and pumps and milking machines whirred and hummed throughout our Gorge.
Then we’ll flash forward to 2014: The wired Gorge with a lake running through it looks very different than it did in 1936. Rural Electrification was extremely successful with almost 100% of farms now connected. Wind farms have made dry wheat land consistently profitable for the 1st time. But we have some challenges: Too much power from hydro run-off and spring winds (resulting in curtailments); limited ability to export power to Seattle, Portland, CA and eastern grids; increasing electric rates for rural residents; aging, dirty, nasty coal fired plants shutting down in 2020 (35% of Oregon’s electricity and 66% of Pacific Power’s comes from coal); public and private utilities with competing interests; a dinosaur-like regulatory landscape; industrial flight – just to name a few… Within each of these challenges is a potential opportunity. The early 20th century energy divide was closed by federal investment in centralized power. The requisite transformation away from fossil fuel dependance in the early part of the 21st century can be wrought by a resilient, locally owned network of Distributed Generation and storage. “Power from the People” is the motto for today’s Rural RE-Electrification in The Gorge.
#RE_Electrification See the shorter talk that was done at Gorge Owned here.