By K.C. Mehaffey
OROVILLE — Aesthetics of Similkameen Falls must be considered if the Okanogan County PUD rebuilds the Enloe Dam to generate power, the Pollution Control Hearings Board ruled last week.
The board affirmed the state Department of Ecology’s water quality certification for the project, adding the condition that aesthetic values for both the dam and the falls will be monitored and evaluated if the dam is rebuilt to hold more water.
PUD general manager John Grubich said the utility is reviewing the ruling to determine if it impacts its newly-won license to rebuild the dam, or affects the cost of the project. Read more
By Becky Kramer
BRIDGEPORT, Wash. – Cheers went up when Colville tribal fisherman Mylan Williams hauled a 20-pound chinook out of the Columbia River with a dip net.
Then hats came off in a show of respect. Tribal elders circled the fish and sang, honoring the salmon that gave up its life to feed the people.
For thousands of years, ancestors of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation have performed First Salmon ceremonies on the banks of the Columbia. But in recent decades, only a few fish have returned.
The tribe recently celebrated the opening of a $50 million hatchery designed to bolster runs to the Upper Columbia and a tributary, the Okanogan River. Read more
By Shannon Dininny
YAKIMA, Wash. — Researchers in the Pacific Northwest are testing and evaluating a new power storage system that could help store excess electricity generated by the region’s many wind farms.
The system announced Monday at south-central Washington’s Nine Canyon Wind Project includes lithium-ion batteries that can store 500 kilowatt-hours of power – enough energy to meet the demand of about a dozen homes for at least half a day.
That’s a relatively small amount of power compared with the large amount of electricity produced by the region’s growing number of wind turbines. But supporters say it’s a first step toward being able to store renewable energy that is produced when demand is low – say, at night, when most people are sleeping – to be used where it’s most needed during the daytime. Read more