Hydropower

Wind Power
6:43 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Paying Wind Generators Not To Produce Power

The first powerhouse of the Bonneville Dam, 40 miles east of Portland, on the Columbia River.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Chances are your utility bill has gone up this year. One small part of the reason may be that you’re paying for electricity that was never generated. From Jefferson Public Radio, Liam Moriarty takes a look at how Northwest electricity customers got saddled with more than $2.5 million in payments for power they didn’t use.

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Hydropower
6:07 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Report Says Climate Change Is Likely To Reduce Hydropower In The Northwest

The Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state.
Credit Joe Nicora / Flickr

If the Northwest continues to operate dams as it does now, the region could be left with 20 percent less hydropower by 2080.

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Columbia River Treaty
4:28 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

U.S. Side Calls For Columbia River Treaty To Be 'Modernized'

File photo of Grand Coulee Dam, looking Southeast.
Gregg M. Erickson Wikimedia

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 4:27 pm

The American negotiating position became clearer Friday in what promises to be difficult bargaining to update a water treaty with Canada.

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Columbia River Treaty
4:09 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Canada Defends Hydropower 'Entitlement' From U.S. Northwest

Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 2:50 pm

Here's a little known fact that may affect your power bill: Every year, public utilities in the Northwest give British Columbia several hundred million dollars worth of electricity. That's to compensate Canada for managing the upper Columbia River to minimize flooding and maximize hydropower downstream.

Americans are pushing for a better deal, but the B.C. government is preparing to defend what's now considered an entitlement.

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Hydropower in Congress
8:48 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Hydropower Bills Open Gates Of Bipartisanship In Congress

The 7.5-megawatt Youngs Creek hydroelectric dam near Sultan
Credit Snohomish County PUD

An effort to streamline the regulatory process for small hydropower dams is generating a rare moment of bipartisanship in Congress. Two bills sailed through a Senate committee Wednesday. They've already passed the House. Correspondent Jessica Robinson has more.

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BPA Chief To Retire
3:55 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Wright To Retire From BPA

The Grand Coulee Dam, one of the Bonneville Power Administration’s federal hydro projects.
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

The Bonneville Power Administration’s long-serving chief is stepping down. Steve Wright was the acting BPA administrator in 2000, when the western U.S. was struggling with an energy crisis. He served as permanent head for a decade and now says he’s retiring in January.

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Hydropower Projects
5:59 am
Tue May 1, 2012

Energy Developers Eye New Grid-Stabilizing Hydro Projects

Artist's rendition of upper and lower reservoir of Swan Lake Pumped Storage Project northeast of Klamath Falls, Ore.
Courtesy of Riverbank Power

If you thought the great dam building era of the Northwest was long over, you might be mistaken. But we're not talking about damming rivers here. This is about building long earthen dams to make new off-stream hydropower reservoirs. They're being designed to act as giant batteries and shock absorbers for the electric grid. Correspondent Tom Banse explains.

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Sunset Falls Hydropower
6:43 am
Wed February 15, 2012

Sun Setting On Sunset Falls?

Jeff Smith and his wife at Sunset Falls.
Photo by Ashley Ahearn Northwest News Network

SKYKOMISH RIVER, Wash. -- The Skykomish is one of the only major rivers in Washington that has not been dammed for hydropower. The river runs from the Cascade Mountains and empties into Northern Puget Sound. It’s a hot spot for wildlife and outdoor recreation. It could also be a hotspot for hydropower. Ashley Ahearn reports.

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