Yearly Archives: 2011

Congress Commits $59 Million to Hydropower Research and Development

By Staff
Power Engineering Magazine

A bill that would significantly increase hydropower spending in the 2012 Fiscal Year has gained congressional and presidential approval.

The bill, which combines nine spending bills and has gained bipartisan support, provides US$59 million for the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Water Power Research and Development Program. Of that, $25 million would be earmarked for marine and hydrokinetic research, development and demonstration; $25 million would go to conventional hydropower; and the remainder would be used to develop infrastructure projects. Read More

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Governor weighs changes to Wash. clean-energy law

By Associated Press
Wenatchee World

SEATTLE (AP) — Large utilities in Washington state will soon have to get at least part of their power from new renewable sources like wind and solar. But with a voter-mandated 2012 deadline looming, Gov. Chris Gregoire is weighing a package of changes that could expand the definition of what clean energy is. Read More

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Wind, hydro operations create balancing act for regulators

By Becky Kramer
Spokesman Review

One of the conundrums of wind energy is that the wind doesn’t blow constantly. In the Northwest, most wind farms operate at about 30 percent capacity, which means backup electrical generation is needed.

The Northwest’s extensive network of hydropower dams helps balance fluctuations in wind output, said Tom Karier, Washington representative on the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. Dam operators can adjust hydro output in response to shifting wind production. Read More

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Wind generators win in dispute with BPA

By Associated Press
The Wenatchee World

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Federal regulators on Wednesday ruled in favor of Northwest wind power generators who objected to being ordered to shut down at times this spring when the Columbia River basin was brimming with water and hydropower dams were running at maximum capacity. Read More

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Plan allows more lake fluctuation

By Becky Kramer
Spokesman Review

Lake Pend Oreille’s water levels will fluctuate by as much as 5 feet this winter, allowing federal agencies more flexibility in managing electricity generation throughout the Columbia River hydropower system.

The Bonneville Power Administration wanted more latitude in managing the water in Idaho’s largest lake so it can be strategically released to respond to periods of peak power demand, such as a regional cold snap. Read More

 

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Condit Dam detonation releases the White Salmon River

By Linda Mapes
The Seattle Times

With a massive charge of TNT detonated at the base of Condit Dam, the White Salmon River roared back to life Wednesday,

Penned up and drowned under a reservoir since the 125-foot-tall dam was completed in 1913, the White Salmon quickly found its natural channel. Engineers had predicted it could take up to six hours to drain Northwestern Lake, which covered 92 acres and stretched 1.8 miles upstream. But the river was free flowing within two hours of blasting through a drain tunnel at the base of the dam at 12:11 p.m. Read More

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1st new hydro dam in Washington in quarter-century

By Bill Sheets
The Daily Herald

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — This winter, a little more of the power flowing into Snohomish County homes will be locally grown.

The Snohomish County Public Utility District has officially opened its new mini-dam and powerhouse on Youngs Creek south of Sultan. Read More

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Getting salmon past daunting Willamette Basin dams could have a big price tag — and a big payoff

By Scott Learn
The Oregonian

DETROIT DAM – If you don’t like heights, this dam’s walkways are not for you, with winds that make you wobble and a 469-foot concrete-lined drop downriver.

Detroit, like the other dams wedged into Cascade streams of the east Willamette Basin, is more harrowing for salmon, including wild spring chinook on the edge of extinction. Read More

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Irrigation district’s hydropower project moving forward

By Staff
Herald and News

One of the Klamath Basin’s largest irrigation districts is one step closer to building a hydroelectric generation facility on a canal in the Klamath Reclamation Project.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has determined that the Klamath Irrigation District’s proposed facility, where the A Canal splits into the B and C canals, would have no significant environmental impact. Read More

 

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Hydropower dam removal ramps up in the Northwest this Fall

By Scott Learn
The Oregonian

Dam removal picks up steam in the Northwest this fall with the removal of two dams on the Olympic Peninsula’s Elwha River and the Condit Dam in the Columbia River Gorge. Activists are hoping for more. Read More

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