Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council
Kathleen Drew is Chair of Washington State's Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council.
There is much going on at Washington's Utilities and Transportation Commission. Including implementation of the shiny new Clean Energy Transformation Act or CETA, requiring that state's electric utilities to transition to one hundred percent clean power by 2045. Signed into law last year, the devil is in the details, as here you hear Commission Staff grapple with the intricacies.
PUF: What is the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council?
Kathleen Drew: It's a small agency that was created fifty years ago to oversee the siting, operation and compliance of large energy facilities, primarily at that point - nuclear facilities. In the state of Washington, although there were plans to build about five nuclear power plants, only one was built and that's the Columbia Generating Station, which is still in our state.
We have the oversight of the environmental safety on the state side. We don't substitute for the federal regulations. That's one of the things that the Council does.
Since then we also have the ability to site electric transmission lines, pipelines of different sizes, and alternative energy facilities. We have two operating wind facilities, and two facilities that have been approved but not constructed. We have our first solar project. The alternative energy facilities can opt in to either us or to local government for siting. Local government is the fallback.