the film


Commentaries and editorials

We Don't Need
Power from Dams

by Laurie Kerr
Moscow-Pullman Daily News, May 10, 2019

Graphic: Energy Strategies analysis used 77 years of historic water flows, and 80 years of Temperature/Load data to run 6160 simulations in NW Power & Conservation Council's GENESYS to determine the Northwest's resource adequacy. In the Pacific Northwest's rapidly changing energy scene, are the lower Snake River dams needed?

In its seventh Power Plan, the Pacific Northwest Power and Conservation Council states that in the Pacific Northwest, energy efficiency alone will meet all projected future energy demand and by 2030 and will have saved 4,000 average megawatts – the equivalent production of (an imaginary) 16 lower Snake River dams.

Bonneville Power Administration, distributor of energy produced by 31 Columbia Basin dams, says its average cost to generate and market power is $35.56 per megawatt hour.

Since 2010, the cost of wind energy has declined 62 percent and solar 76 percent. Idaho Power, for example, recently contracted to purchase solar energy at $21.75 per megawatt hour. BPA, contrarily, plans to raise Public Utility District rates by 2.9 percent to $36.60 by 2021.

Meantime, the Pacific Northwest has a 17 percent surplus of power. Since the LSR dams produce only 4 percent of the Pacific Northwest's power, it fits into that "surplus" margin.

It's clear that PNW power needs can be met without the LSR dams and at lower cost; and considering the "cost" of losing salmon runs once in the millions, northwesterners don't need LSR power.

Related Pages: home page will be showing the interchange to California on a monthly basis for 2019.

Laurie Kerr Battle Ground, Wash.
We Don't Need Power from Dams
Moscow-Pullman Daily News, May 10, 2019

See what you can learn

learn more on topics covered in the film
see the video
read the script
learn the songs
discussion forum
salmon animation