Monthly Archives: July 2015

What’s pumped storage got to do with it?

Good renewable energy news: Wind generation in the Northwest grew from almost nothing in 1998, to over 4,700 MW in 2015.

Other news: Bringing the variable nature of wind generation on and off line quickly is a “load balancing” challenge. Hydropower has admirably supported this balancing role, but current facilities to do that are largely maxed out.

As wind and other variable generation resources come on-line, could pumped storage be the load balancing key to maintaining the Northwest’s leadership in clean, renewable energy for years to come?

Click here for presentation provided by FWEE member MWH on just this subject at the international HydroVision Conference held in Portland, OR in July. It does a really good job of explaining the challenge and the opportunity.

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Thinking Clean Energy at 30,000 feet

If you were flying Alaska Airlines this spring, you may have read a feature article, “The Triumph of Clean Energy.” Click here to read. Using the experience of Kodiak, Alaska, themes regarding integration of hydro, wind and solar power to support a renewable energy future are explored.

For the Northwest, these themes are explored in even greater depth in FWEE’s 2015 publication Following Nature’s Current. Our renewable energy future is happening now.

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Biologists bring sockeye into Idaho on trucks to get them out of hot water

By Rocky Barker
Idaho Statesman

Five sockeye salmon swam in tanks at the Eagle Hatchery on Wednesday wearing the scars of their shortened trip to Idaho.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game biologists took the unusual step of capturing the migrating adults in a trap at the Lower Granite Dam southwest of Pullman, Wash., the last of eight dams Idaho salmon swim through on their way from the Pacific to the Sawtooth Valley. That’s because the Columbia and Snake rivers are as much as 6 degrees warmer than usual.

Northwest rivers are so warm that salmon and steelhead are dying in tributaries such as the Willamette and Deschutes rivers in Oregon. Oregon fisheries officials said Thursday that they are limiting fishing for trout, salmon, steelhead and sturgeon statewide to protect the fish from stress. Read more

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Take the FWEE Hydro Cache Challenge

The first documented placement of a GPS-located cache took place on May 3, 2000, by Dave Ulmer of Beavercreek, Oregon. Since then, upwards of a million geocaches have been “stashed” worldwide. By stashing caches at 13 hydropower projects throughout the region, people of all ages are joining in on the fun with the FWEE Hydro Cache Challenge.

The Hydro Cache Challenge takes you to roads less traveled, scenic rest stops you never knew about, and the story of hydropower. After all, this bountiful, clean, low cost and renewable resource accounts for about 60% of the Northwest’s electricity.

Said one geocacher, “McKitten and I needed to get out of the house so Mamacats can do report cards. So, east of the mountains we go! My thanks to the powers that be that have arranged this very informative and interesting challenge.”

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