Hydropower is essential to our region’s bold clean energy goals. The State of Washington just passed Senate Bill 5116 into law. The law commits the state to a path for no coal generation by 2025 and 100% clean energy by 2045. Washington recognizes hydropower as a critical source of generation in order to meet this goal.

Similarly, Oregon is contemplating its own climate action. The city of Portland set a 100% carbon-free goal within its borders, and individual utilities in the Northwest are embarking on similar efforts.

Hydropower is critical to the region’s ability to meet these goals because it is carbon-free and because of its energy storage capabilities. Dams store energy in the form of the water built up behind the dams. When the water is released through turbines, electricity is generated. This ability to store and quickly release energy allows hydropower to fill in the gaps for intermittent resources, like wind and solar power, which balances the grid.

WA Senate Bill 5116