Island Power fails at economics and civics | Letter to the editor

To the editor:

A recent letter to the Review suggested that Island Power will provide better response times to storm outages with local crews and work on reliability upgrades like under-grounding power lines and smart grid programs.

How will Island Power be more effective at under-grounding transmission lines? The community rejected PSE’s last attempt in 2011. Please see the following Review article for a memory refresh: http://www.bainbridgereview.com/news/pse-seeks-permit-to-bolster-reliability-50-trees-at-risk/

October’s most recent wind event created more than 20 simultaneous outages on Bainbridge. Many of them required multiple crews to repair. Last year we had a few events of even larger magnitude. Island Power’s claim that local crews will be more effective is unrealistic. PSE has the option of dispatching crews from all over the region to assist quickly in time of need. Unless Island Power is planning on keeping 30-plus crews on standby at all times, there is no way for them to provide equivalent, let alone better, response time.

I agree we may choose to invest in smart grid technology to better manage household loads, reducing usage. Island Power has no monopoly on smart grid programs. PSE has already engaged our community with pilot programs, some dating back to 2009. For example: https://www.metering.com/puget-sound-energy-to-undertake-smart-grid-enabled-demand-response-pilot-program/.

Rate hikes are always painful. Consider the shock Jefferson County residents are pondering: http://www.ptleader.com/news/pud-sets-nov-for-rate-hike-hearing/article_801eac08-9b06-11e6-ac0f-fbfa854512b5.html

Unfortunately the laws of economics do not work for Island Power. If our community is concerned about cleaner and more reliable electrical power, we should be engaging PSE to find better solutions to lower carbon sources and working through our own obstructionist issues.

I have learned how approachable, reasonable and receptive PSE executives have been to my requests to discuss these topics. If our community put the equivalent effort into working with PSE rather than re-inventing the wheel with Island Power we could accomplish something positive. Suggesting the only way to improve a complicated system is to throw it away, then put a bunch of inexperienced folks behind the wheel is naïve and irresponsible.

Island Power fatally damaged their mission and reputation by railroading their $100K, lopsided, taxpayer funded, consulting project through city council. Let’s focus on realistic and meaningful change and do what Island Power has never done and sit down with PSE and develop a mutually beneficial plan for the future.

ROBERT FRAIK

Bainbridge Island

More in Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor

Vote for Root To the editor: After a while every elected official… Continue reading

Letters to the editor

Indoor skate park To the editor: With so much time during the… Continue reading

Letter to the editor

Nature’s gifts To the editor When I was growing up, life was… Continue reading

Letters to the editor

Approve R-90 To the editor: Referendum 90 will be on the Nov.… Continue reading

Letter to the editor

2020 Election Re-elect Rob Gelder To the editor: Kitsap County Commissioner Rob… Continue reading

Letter to the editor

We can reduce fires

Letters to the editor

PSE needs to clean up forests to limit wildfires

Letters to the editor

In response Clean energy An Aug. 21 Bainbridge Review opinion piece makes… Continue reading

Letter to the editor

Help support local businesses through SOS campaign

Letter to the editor

Whites not looked at first by the color of their skin

Outrage is appropriate

Sending the military to teargas peaceful protestors exercising their constitutional rights for… Continue reading