NorthWest RiverPartners March 2023 Runoff

Runoff | Mar. ’23

Welcome back to the Runoff, the hydropower blog that is, unfortunately, a week late due to a significant technical hurdle experienced by it’s writer. But, better late than never, right? Each month, we capture the region’s most important hydropower news and give you our take on it, along with some more lighthearted and interesting segments along the way.

Hydropower round-up

Washington Legislature considers funding new dam removal studies

The legislative session is now in full swing in Washington state, and both chambers have their hands full this spring. Included in this year’s budget proposals is funding for a variety of studies which would further explore various aspects of dam breaching.

Our take:

If you recall, last year’s Murray-Inslee process resulted in recommendations that clearly stated that breaching the lower Snake River dams was not feasible. The work done during the process was also similar to a previous report produced by Governor Inslee in 2020, which surveyed stakeholder opinions across the state on breaching the lower Snake River dams. We are concerned about the spending of further state dollars on redundant studies on the topic. Northwest RiverPartners is calling for guiding principles for these state funded studies to ensure they:

  1. Are conducted by nationally recognized, independent researchers like the National Academies of Sciences
  2. Specifically address the likely grid reliability, affordability, and carbon impacts of dam removal
  3. Directed by the legislature and not the executive branch, to avoid political bias.
  4. It is vitally important that state legislators hear from YOU on this issue. Click here to help ensure we continue to have an affordable, reliable electric grid that helps us reach our climate goals.

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Hydro headlines

Trial Operation of Innovative Horizontal Pelton Hydropower Turbine Underway in Austria
Trial Operation of Innovative Horizontal Pelton Hydropower Turbine Underway in Austria

A pioneering horizontal, six-nozzle Pelton turbine developed by Voith Hydro at the 326-GWh Gerlos 1 pumped storage facility in the Ziller Valley, Austria, is setting new benchmarks for the 140-year-old

POWER Magazine
EIA Reports Western Hydropower Generation Rose 13% in 2022

After decreasing to a 20-year low for the 2020–21 water year, hydropower production in the western U.S. increased slightly during last year’s water year, rising 13% to reach 161 million megawatt-hours, the Energy Information Administration reported.
Sea lions threaten Northwest’s salmon
Sea lions threaten Northwest’s salmon

Decadeslong efforts by state and tribal agencies have slowly curbed sea lion populations in the region, yet officials still consider the pinnipeds a threat to at-risk salmon populations in the Columbi

The Columbian


Thanks for stopping by to read Runoff! We’ll be back on April 7th–barring unforeseen computer disasters–but in the meantime, be sure to follow us on our other social media channels below and spread the word about this blog with your own followers!

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