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Seattle ups investment in green power

Seattle City and Light, a city utility in Washington state, will up its investments in renewables ten-fold with an extra $2 million a year, as ordered by the Seattle city council. The renewables are intended to replace, in part, the power Seattle receives from the Centralia coal plant, which has been dubbed the largest single source of pollution in the Northwest. Seattle and seven other owners are in the process of selling the plant. The city council resolved that the utility must invest at least 0.49% of its revenue each year in non-hydroelectric renewable energy. With 341,000 customers, the utility already invests 5.2% of revenue in public programs, including a small amount of renewables. According to the utility's Larry Vogel, the model it plans to use to develop wind and solar resources is being tested with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which is building a geothermal plant. Seattle will buy part of the plant's output during the winter, when LA power demand falls, in exchange for a portion of Seattle's hydro electricity generated in the summer, when LA needs the power. The Seattle utility's strategic resources assessment is scheduled for public review later this year.

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