public utility districts

Mason PUD 3

Distance learning, ordering groceries online or applying for unemployment, those are all kind of difficult without a good internet connection. So, at least seven public utilities spanning Washington state are setting up drive-up Wi-Fi hotspots amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The purpose is to provide free high speed internet to families, especially rural students, who don't have access at home. Many traditional public Wi-Fi access points such as libraries and coffee shops are currently closed.

Douglas County PUD

An electric utility in north central Washington wants to branch out into hydrogen fuel production. It would be the first of a group of power companies in the Pacific Northwest to use their dams to make "renewable hydrogen."

Tom Banse / NW News Network

Cryptocurrency companies in Central Washington were left to wait in suspense on Tuesday after they asked a federal judge in Spokane to block an imminent, targeted electric rate increase. The energy-intensive data center operators claim they would be crippled by the Grant County Public Utility District rate hike. The utility says the case is without merit.

Tom Banse / NW News Network

One of the biggest players in the global cryptocurrency space has established a foothold in the Pacific Northwest. China-based Bitmain Technologies held a ribbon cutting for a $20 million data center near the Wenatchee airport on Friday. A celebratory mood ran through the grand opening despite headwinds besetting the virtual currency sector.

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A public utility in north central Washington state wants to root out a new kind of outlaw: the rogue bitcoin miner.

Marko Ahtisaari / Flickr - tinyurl.com/z7gay8n

The price of bitcoin set another new all-time high Wednesday, shooting past $13,000. The meteoric rise in the value of bitcoin and lesser known virtual currencies is having a real world effect in the Pacific Northwest.

Entrepreneurs are bombarding the public utilities in Central Washington with requests for cheap hydropower to run bitcoin computers.

Marko Ahtisaari / Flickr - tinyurl.com/z7gay8n

Some players in an emerging technology industry in central Washington state are about to face higher electric bills. That’s because a major utility wants to protect itself from the uncertainties surrounding the trade in virtual currencies such as bitcoin.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

People who are interested in solar energy but don't own the perfect roof on which to install solar panels may have the option to buy into a bigger, centrally-located project. These are called shared solar or community solar. There's a boomlet of such projects in Washington state right now, while there are hardly any in sunnier Oregon and Idaho.

But Washington's generous solar incentives are coming under scrutiny.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Public utility districts in Washington have the right to place power lines through state trust lands. That was the decision from the Washington Supreme Court.