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Commentaries and editorials

Lower Snake River Dams
Not an Important Source of Power

by Jeffrey Joswig-Jones
Moscow-Pullman Daily News, June 4, 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. According to the lower Snake River dams produce 5 percent of the total hydroelectric power in the region. Furthermore, hydroelectric power comprises 59 percent of our total energy production.

This means that removal of the Snake River dams would reduce our power production by 3 percent. Part of this could be made up by reducing the curtailments on wind and solar that are now in place.

When there are high river flows, wind and solar harvests are shutdown so as not to overload the electrical grid. Curtailment is one of the reasons why not all the windmills are spinning on a reasonably windy day. More importantly, we export the equivalent of 21 percent of our hydroelectric power to Canada and other states ( The need to replace the power produced by the dams is a bogus argument.

Related Pages:
The bottom of bluefish home page displays the export monthly for 2019. Additionally, bluefish answers to Orca Task Force questions, specifically answering electricity impacts at Question 17: What would it cost to replace the power production benefits?.

Jeffrey Joswig-Jones, Pullman
Lower Snake River Dams Not an Important Source of Power
Moscow-Pullman Daily News, June 4, 2019

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