EIA Renewable Energy-Washington Renewable Profile.

Now that I have moved to Washington State, I wanted to figure out what the energy networks are like here, so I went to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). They have a fairly navigable website with great profiles of each U.S. state.

With respect to the electricity generation stations in the state, Washington has many conventional hydroelectric power plants, including the nations largest – Grand Coulee. These hydro plants dominate the electricity generation in the state with 69.8% of the electricity generated in 2009 from conventional hydro means. Along with other renewable sources, the total renewable net generation in 2009 was 74.6%. So, 25.4% of the electricity generation came from non-renewable sources.

The conventional hydro makes the electricity generated in the state very low in resulting CO2 emissions. This state of the electric grid here means that using electricity in this state would affect the environment (CO2 emissions-wise) less than other energy options like gasoline or natural gas. These hydro plants, with normal operating costs and no fuel costs, help to keep the electricity prices low in Washington, which average 6.55 c/kWh (although prices vary by consumer type).