Monthly Archives: April 2013

Elwha dam removal hostage to water plant repairs

By Lynda V. Mapes
Seattle Times

Elwha dam removal is hostage to repairs at water-treatment facilities built as part of the $325 million federal river-restoration project.

The National Park Service, which is leading the dam-removal project, has hired a contractor for the repairs, and said work on taking down the last third of Glines Canyon Dam will resume July 1. The agency predicts work will be complete well before the contract to remove the dams ends in September 2014.

But it could be a much longer wait. Contractors don’t yet have a proven fix for the problems bedeviling the project since last October. And even if they fix the problems by July, some experts say dam removal will likely remain on hold until next year. Read more

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BPA plan would share costs of wind-power shutdown

By Hal Bernton
Seattle Times

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) this week released a new proposal to share the “oversupply costs” that pile up when there is not enough demand for all the electricity produced by hydroelectric dams and wind-power producers.

During these oversupply periods, when wind-power producers may be asked to shut down, the plan would compensate them for lost revenue, according to Doug Johnson, a BPA spokesman. Read more

This year, the BPA forecast a 50 percent chance there will be an oversupply of power. If that happens, the cost of the plan could be about $10 million, or up to $50 million if extreme conditions occur during the peak spring runoff period.

The BPA operates regional transmission lines used by wind-power producers, and also sells hydroelectric power from federal dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers.

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Small hydro projects bill passes U.S. House

By Staff
Tri-City Herald

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday to boost development of small hydropower projects.

The bill would authorize hydropower development on man-made Bureau of Reclamation canals and stream-line regulatory processes. It has the potential to generate thousands of megawatts of hydropower at no cost to taxpayers, according to supporters.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hear hydropower bills April 23, according to staff of Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. Read more

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