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Report to Help Guide Washington Governor's
Decisions about Lower Snake River Dams

by Staff
Hydro Review, December 27, 2019

A young resident killer whale chases a chinook salmon near Vancouver Island. (Photograph by John Durban/NOAA "There is both hope and despair about what comes next and the potential for progress," according to the draft of a new report on four dams and hydro projects on the Lower Snake River in Washington.

The Lower Snake River Dams (LSRD) – Ice Harbor, Little Goose, Lower Granite and Lower Monumental -- are part of the broader integrated system of hydroelectric facilities that make up the Federal Columbia River Power System, the largest source of renewable electricity in the Pacific Northwest. The energy produced is sold and marketed by the Bonneville Power Administration to a variety of customers. BPA also is responsible for covering the costs of Columbia River Basin fish and wildlife mitigation.

The report says that each year, the LSRD produce an average of 1,024 average MW of electricity annually, which is about 4% of BPA's annual energy portfolio. The LSRD have the ability to produce 3,033 MW of electricity at peak capacity for a short period of time if there is both high water storage and high river flows.

According to the executive summary of The Lower Snake River Dams Stakeholder Engagement Report:

The draft report was prepared in response to recommendations of Gov. Jay Inslee's Southern Resident Orca Task Force to further investigate the impacts of breaching the LSRD as a means to provide more salmon for Southern Resident orcas to eat. Gov. Inslee has said will use this information to inform his perspective on the LSRD and determine if and how to participate in ongoing federal environmental evaluations of the Columbia and Snake River system, including the draft Columbia River System Operations Environmental Impact Statement scheduled to be released in February 2020.

Report to Help Guide Washington Governor's Decisions about Lower Snake River Dams
Hydro Review, December 27, 2019

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