Switches Off Wind,
by Rob Manning
Northwest dam operators turned wind turbines off Tuesday -- putting into practice, a policy established just last week.
Bonneville Power Administration officials say that high river levels forced them to turn the wind turbines off.
Officials say that moderate winds could have produced up to 1400 megawatt hours of power, during the five-hour shut-off.
BPA estimates it cost wind companies tens of thousands of dollars, mostly in the form of production tax incentives.
Federal officials say the alternative to shutting off wind power, is to spill lots of water over the dams, potentially hurting salmon. But Nicole Cordan with Save Our Wild Salmon says BPA could have prepared better for high spring water.
Nicole Cordan: "So with some advanced planning, and better management, and better forecasting, we think we could've been in a better spot. And that's what we're hoping for, for the future."
Wind energy producers have also been critical of the move.
But a group representing public power utilities says limiting wind was the right decision, under the circumstances.
Overgeneration Announcement related to graphic.
To safeguard salmon and steelhead and assure reliable energy delivery during these unusually high seasonal river flows, BPA has taken the following measures, which it took as a last resort and had been working to avoid. BPA will update this site at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.
[May 20, 9 a.m.] BPA temporarily limited the energy output of regional generators, including wind generators, from 11 p.m. May 19 until 5 a.m. May 20. During that six hour period, approximately 600 to 1,200 megawatts per hour of wind generation, totaling about 5,300 megawatt hours, were impacted.
[May 19, 3 p.m.] No current limits on generation
[May 19, 9 a.m.] BPA temporarily limited the energy output of regional generators, including wind generators, from 11 p.m. May 18 until 5 a.m. May 19. During that six hour period, slightly less than 1,000 megawatts per hour of wind generation, totaling about 5,700 megawatt hours, were impacted.
[May 18, 3 p.m.] No current limits on generation
[May 18, 9 a.m.] BPA temporarily limited the energy output of regional generators, including wind generators, from midnight until 5 a.m. May 18. Approximately 200-350 megawatts of wind generation per hour, totaling about 1,400 megawatt hours, were impacted.
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