Potential Solutions to Excess Hydro

By Published On: February 4, 2011

In response to last June’s unmarketable surplus of Northwest hydropower, the Bonneville Power Administration and power industry officials are exploring ways to handle future surpluses without curtailing hydropower turbines. But, one industry organization withdrew its report Jan. 25 over potential antitrust law violations. Power companies in the region voiced concern that by commenting on the Northwest Power & Conservation Council’s report they could potentially step over the legal line that outlaws collusive activities aimed at manipulating prices, according to Northwest Council spokesperson John Harrison. The report, plus one from the Bonneville Power Administration, address the capacity along the Columbia River basin to hold back water so the federal agency can better modulate power production and avoid spilling dams, which introduces dissolved nitrogen into water and kills salmon. The Northwest Council plans to reissue its report. Bonneville spokesperson Michael Milstein also said increasing transmission capacity between the Northwest and California could help. This could involve operating the two intertie lines that span the Pacific states from north to south more efficiently, or even adding new wires to the lines, according to BPA.

Share this story

Not a member yet?

Subscribe Now