Northwest Hydropower News Archives 2010 & Older

Yearly Archives: 2010

Klamath prepares for dam removal

By TIM HEARDEN Capital Press REDDING, Calif. — Preparations to remove four dams along the Klamath River in Southern Oregon and Northern California are moving forward, an energy official said. Tim Hemstreet, a representative from hydroelectric facility operator PacifiCorp, outlined … Read on 

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Safe passage for fish a challenge at The Dalles

Fish biologist to take dam off to-do list By Quinton Smith Oregonian There were fish problems at The Dalles Dam. Too many young salmon and steelhead migrating down the Columbia River each spring and summer never made it past. A … Read on 

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Resurgent Northwest salmon show dam ‘spill’ is better than barging

Salmon success recasts debate By Rocky Barker Idaho Statesman Lorri Bodi’s call in the 1990s for federal dam managers to divert Columbia River flows away from hydroelectric turbines to aid endangered salmon was met by anger and an army of … Read on 

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New hatchery part of Grant PUD licensing costs

By Lynne Lynch Columbia Basin Herald EPHRATA — The costs associated with the estimated $43 million Chief Joseph Hatchery north of Brewster were planned spending for Grant County PUD’s licensing efforts. Grant PUD received a new federal license to own … Read on 

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Madras Inventor Makes "Pipe” Dream a Reality

By Susan Matheny Pioneer Paul Jensen, who for decades flew the air streams as a crop spraying pilot, saw a correlation between airflow and waterflow, which helped lead to his invention of a vastly improved fish bypass system for dams. … Read on 

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Wash. approves permit to remove Condit Dam

By Shannon Dininny Seattle Post-Intelligencer YAKIMA, Wash. — PacifiCorp is one step closer to removing the Condit Dam on southwest Washington’s White Salmon River, following a decision Tuesday by Washington state regulators to issue a water quality permit. Portland, Ore.-based … Read on 

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Transmission lines key to BPA wind power plans

By Kathie Durbin The Columbian What if you built a wind farm and couldn’t get the energy to market? Despite a decade-long wind energy boom that has turned the upper Columbia River Plateau into one long horizon of slowly rotating … Read on 

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County again stuck with Boyd hydro power plant

By Dean Brickley East Oregonian A Utah man’s option has expired to buy the idled Jim Boyd Hydroelectric Porject near Hermiston. The Umatilla County Board of Commissioners discussed the project Tuesday, but took no action, said county counsel Doug Olsen. … Read on 

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Massive structure removed for Boundary Dam project

Specialized contractors assist Seattle City Light in $1.5 million in jobs By Kim Frlan Journal of Business In a project that involved Spokane contractors and engineers, a 312-ton metal structure has been lifted from 200 feet beneath the surface of … Read on 

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EPUD may sell hydro plans

The rural utility district has a potential buyer for the proposals that were once called a “nightmare” By Susan Palmer The Register-Guard The Emerald People’s Utility District may have a buyer for two hydroelectric proposals that it has spent millions … Read on 

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Search is on for a solution to balance Northwest power

Federal agency reaches agreement with one developer to provide its own backup resources By Nathalie Weinstein Daily Journal of Commerce When Northwest winds aren’t blowing, the energy grid compensates automatically by tapping into hydropower sources operated by the Bonneville Power … Read on 

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Studies on dam removal on track

Decision likely by the March 2012 decline By Ty Beaver Herald & News Federal authorities studying the feasibility of Klamath River dam removal are on schedule and say the U.S. Secretary of the Interior should be able to make a … Read on 

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Army Corps hires Austrian firm for heavy lifting at McNary Dam recoil

10 power generators will be replaced By Dean Brickey East Oregonian The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has started an immense project at McNary Dam that will take many months and many millions of dollars to complete. Using two huge … Read on 

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Turbine work nearly a year behind schedule

PUD unhappy with contractor By Janelle Atyeo Newport Miner NEWPORT – The first new turbine at Box Canyon Dam should be up and running by Jan. 24, 2011. The original plan was to have it up and running by mid-March … Read on 

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County signs Seattle agreement

By Janelle Atyeo Newport Miner NEWPORT – Pend Oreille County commissioners officially signed off on a agreement over the next 10 years of impact payments for Boundary Dam, ending two years of heated negotiations with dam owners Seattle City Light. … Read on 

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Future of fishing on WS River sans dam open for discussion

By Staff The Enterprise With removal of Condit Dam set to begin next fall, representatives of state and federal fish and wildlife agencies will hold a public meeting next Tuesday, Aug. 31, in Underwood to discuss the future of sport … Read on 

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Douglas PUD to sell $113 million in bonds for dam upgrade

$113 million offering shores up utility’s finances, protecting its rating By Christine Pratt World staff writer EAST WENATCHEE — Douglas County PUD will sell $113 million in revenue bonds today to refinance old debt and modernize Wells Dam. PUD General … Read on 

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Snoqualmie Falls hydro plant gets into hall of fame

By Dan Catchpole SnoValley Star Snoqualmie Valley has been the home of a movie star, professional athletes and business leaders. The Valley is now also home to a new hall-of-famer. The inductee never sought out fame. It only did its … Read on 

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Congressman tours new Baker River fish facility

By Staff Courier Times CONCRETE – U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Everett) visited Puget Sound Energy’s Baker RIver Hydroelectric Project to hear utility staffers promote the economic and environmental benefits the energy facility brings to the region. PSE is reducing the … Read on 

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Public meeting scheduled on hydropower for Bowman Dam

PGE is voluntarily seeking input from affected residents By Jason Chaney Central Oregonian Next week, local residents will have their first opportunity to weigh in on a proposed hydroelectric power plant on Bowman Dam. Portland General Electric is hosting a … Read on 

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City Light starts gate rehab at Boundary Dam

By Journal Staff Daily Journal of Commerce Seattle City Light is preparing for a $1.2 million maintenance project at Boundary Dam on the Fend Oreille River in northeast Washington The yearlong project will rehabilitate a 312-ton gate used to maintain … Read on 

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Ancient Northwest fish in peril

Columbia River: As efforts help salmon rebound, lampreys are in danger of becoming a thing of the past By Ben Pittman-Polletta The Oregonian At the north side of the Bonneville Dam spillway, what looks like a ventilation duct zigzags out … Read on 

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Round Butte Dam tower to release more cold water

Deschutes River: Operators will try a cooler mix to meet temperature goals By Quinton Smith The Oregonian Operators of a massive new water tower at Round Butte Dam near Madras agreed Friday to again release more cold water into the … Read on 

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Feds look at scaling back hatcheries

Fisheries service offers alternatives to trim Columbia basin production and protect fish By Scott Learn The Oregonian Federal biologists on Friday sent their strongest signal to date that the Columbia River Basin’s immense hatchery production –and the lucrative fishing opportunities … Read on 

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Reaping the Wind

‘Community Wind’ takes a village By Keri Brenner The Dalles Chronicle WASCO – Ormand Hilderbrand says he “now knows the real meaning of ‘going for broke’” after spending five years working to launch Oregon’s first small, independently developed wind farm. … Read on 

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Gold Ray decision expected

Demolition timing hangs on District Court ruling By Mark Freeman Daily Tidings Construction crews as early as today will learn if they can resume preparing Gold Ray Dam for demolition or must wait indefinitely while a lawsuit challenges Jackson County’s … Read on 

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Tacoma Power receives 50-year license for Cushman Dam

By Arla Sherphard Shelton-Mason County Journal More than a year after Tacoma Power and the Skokomish Tribe agreed to settle their three-decade-long fight over the Cushman Dam properties, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order Thursday amending the … Read on 

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Company plans new hydroelectric facility

Project on local irrigation canal could power 2,450 homes By Tim Doran Bulletin A Bend company plans to build a 5-megawatt hydroelectric facility on the North Unit Irrigation District’s main canal in Jefferson County and sell the electricity it generates. … Read on 

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PSE completes Baker River hatchery

By Staff Daily Journal of Commerce BELLEVUE – Puget Sound Energy recently completed a new fish hatchery and upstream trap-and-haul facility on Baker River in the North Cascades.

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No more give in the NW power grid

By Ted Sickinger The Oregonian On the afternoon of May 19, in a single chaotic hour, more than a thousand wind turbines in the Columbia River Gorge went from spinning lazily in the breeze to full throttle as a storm … Read on 

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Packwood Lake hydroelectric project upgrade stalled

By Natalie Johnson Shelto-Mason County Journal PUD 3 has a 10-percent stake in electricity produced at Energy Northwest’s Packwood Lake Hydroelectric Project but staffers said this week that an effort to increase productivity at the site will be scrapped due … Read on 

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Feds OK with plan for North Fork dam repairs

Regional engineer had raised alarm about condition of spillway gates By Erik Robinson The Columbian Federal energy regulators say they’re satisfied with PacifiCorp’s plan to repair spillway gates at three major dams on the North Fork of the Lewis River.

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Inspection spurs alarm about dams

Feds says there’s potential for catastrophic failure; PacifiCorp calls them safe By Erik Robinson Columbian Federal energy regulators are raising alarm about the potential for “catastrophic failure” of spillway gates on three major PacifiCorp-owned dams on the North Fork of … Read on 

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Company gives report on sediment behind dam

By Joyce Edlefsen Standard Journal REXBURG – Rocky Mountain Power continues its preliminary work prior to starting the physical rebuilding of the Ashton Dam. After a lengthy review of the condition of the dam by its own engineers, consultants and … Read on 

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Rains swamp region’s dams

Power managers divert flow to reservoirs, slow plant output and give power away By Ted Sickinger The Oregonian Winter’s snow drought has given way to a temporary flood of late-spring runoff, forcing regional managers of the electrical grid to give … Read on 

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New face for the Falls

Work in high gear for upgrade, lowering of dam By Seth Truscott Snoqualmie Valley Record Normally, the power generators at the Snoqualmie Falls hydroelectric plant run at a painful roar. This summer, the machinery is silent for the first time … Read on 

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Columbia River dams get upgrades

More power will be generated from same amount of water via $120 million project By Shannon Dininny Daily Journal of Commerce BRIDGEPORT Wash. —Workers are preparing to install a new 45-ton turbine at the second-largest producing dam in the United … Read on 

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BPA makes changes, knows which way the wind blows

By Staff Odessa Record As winds picked up May 12, the Bonneville Power Administration warned wind farms at 6:29 p.m. to prepare to shut down the wind turbines in four minutes. The turbines were generating about 600 megawatts more power … Read on 

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As wind power booms, so do the challenges

The revolution happening along the Columbia River is full of promise. But wind power is fickle, and keeping our energy system running smoothly has become “the great economic and engineering challenge of our time.” By Hal Bernton Seattle Times CENTERVILLE, … Read on 

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Low snowpack could impact power prices

By Sean Ellis Idaho State Journal The extremely poor snowpack levels in Idaho this winter could have a significant impact on power prices down the road. "There won’t be an impact his year, but there might be an impact next … Read on 

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BPA warns electricity rates could increase

By Staff Wahkiakum Co. Eagle The Bonneville Power Administration now estimates it will likely finish the fiscal year with negative net revenues of approximately $230 million. This shortfall was reported in BPA’s second quarterly review published April 30 and is … Read on 

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More powerful hydro turbine heads for Chief Joseph Dam

Hefty turbine runner requires police escort as it crosses continent Submitted by Bonneville Power Administration Brewster Quad-City Herald A major new, 45-ton piece of a hydroelectric turbine last week began a 2,720-mile journey to the Chief Joseph Dam, where it … Read on 

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City developing a HCP to protect steelhead, themselves

The development of the Habitat Conservation Plan is about a 10-year process By Jason Chaney Central Oregonian Since steelhead fish were reintroduced into the Crooked River Watershed two years ago, the City of Prineville has undertaken a plan to protect … Read on 

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County settles on Gold Ray Dam plan

106-year-old dam to be removed using stimulus cash, state grant By Mark Freeman Daily Tidings The Jackson County Board of Commissioners voted Wednesday to remove 106-year-old Gold Ray Dam from the Rogue River this summer, saying the financial burden of … Read on 

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New heart at the dam

Tacoma Power Rebuilds 1968 Machines Inside Washington’s Tallest Dam By Dian McClurg The Chronicle MOSSYROCK — What weighs 62½ tons, is 16 feet in diameter and will soon help generate 1.9 billion kilowatt-hours of energy each year? If you said … Read on 

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Boundary Dam deal reached

Seattle City Light spent two years negotiating By Becky Kramer Spokesman Review Seattle City Light has reached a proposed settlement over the relicensing of Boundary Dam on the Pend Oreille River in northeast Washington. The proposed settlement was submitted earlier … Read on 

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Corps outlines steps to study breaching Snake dams

A study is not imminent, and it would take several years to complete. By Kevin McCullen Idaho Statesman A dramatic decline in the four-year average of wild salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act or a natural catastrophe … Read on 

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Arrowrock Hydroelectric Project completed

By Staff Clatskanie Chief Following more than 25 years of efforts to develop the project on a nearly 100-year-old dam, power has begun flowing from the Arrowrock Hydroelectric Project located on the Boise River in Idaho.

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$11M effort to make fish-safe turbine

By Staff Daily Journal of Commerce The US Army Corps of Engineers recently awarded an $11 million contract to Voith Hydro of York, PA for work at Ice Harbor Lock and dam on the Snake River near Burbank. Voith will … Read on 

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Studies about dam removal on track

Interior Secretary to make decision by 2012 By Ty Beaver Herald & News The process to determine whether removal of four Klamath River hydroelectric dams is feasible and the best way to improve the river’s fisheries is on track. About … Read on 

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Planning continues to boost fish populations

New contract seeks safer turbines for fish By Staff Daily News Engineers will develop the first of a new generation of advanced hydroelectric turbines for the Federal Columbia River Power System to provide safe passage for fish, under a contract … Read on 

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Let’s be sure Shoshone Falls’ future is secure

By Editorial Times-News Fifty years is a long time to repent in leisure. So let’s make sure – very sure – of what we’re in for if the Federal Energy Regulatory Agency approves Idaho Power’s plans to replace two small … Read on 

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Power on a small scale

By Mark Freeman Mail Tribune A small local irrigation district is hoping to turn a canal into cash with a small hydropower retrofit that could become a blueprint for creating mini power generators out of the Rogue Valley’s irrigation canals. … Read on 

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Mason Dam turbine work continues

County officials hope to submit application for power-producing turbine by June 1 By Ed Merriman Baker City Herald Baker County Commissioners advanced plans Wednesday for installing a $3.1 million power turbine at Mason Dam, a project that could add up … Read on 

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Dam repairs almost done

The BPA funded the $5 million project on four spillway gates at Foster By Alex Paul Albany Democrat-Herald SWEET HOME — A $5 million repair project on the four spillway gates at Foster Dam is expected to be completed by … Read on 

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Mild winter means trouble for BPA officials, McNary Dam

BPA predicts $6M loss in revenue due to warm winter By Dean Brickey East Oregonian BPA officials have reduced their expectations for hydroelectric power revenue this year by more than $225 million because of new forecasts for a continued depressed … Read on 

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U.S. agrees to tweak salmon plan

Judge’s proposal:The government gets three months to review its fish-recovery effort Matthew Presusch The Oregonian The federal government will spend three more months reconfiguring its plan for salmon and dams in the Columbia Basin in the hopes of pleasing a … Read on 

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Turbine design taps into water power

By Steve Brown Capital Press Burt Hamner has a simple idea: Tap the nearest running water — say, an irrigation canal or a river — to generate electricity. That electricity, he figures, could be used on-site to operate irrigation pumps … Read on 

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Remodel of Ashton Dam to take longer than expected

By Joyce Edlefsen Standard Journal REXBURG — A Rocky Mountain Power Co. official told the Henry’s Fork Watershed Council Tuesday in Rexburg that modifications and reconstruction of its Ashton Dam will take more time than originally announced.

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Seattle offers $1.6M to Pend Oreille

Boundary Dam: City Light offers $1.6 million for Boundary Dam fees as legislators take up the cause for the financially strapped county. By Emily Heffter Seattle Times Seattle City Light offered this week to pay $1.6 million to a tiny … Read on 

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2010 breaching of Condit Dam not likely

Preparation, soliciting bids may not leave enough time to meet target date of October Erik Robinson The Columbian Condit Dam is shown shortly before dam owner PacifiCorp agreed in 1999 to remove it rather than install expensive fish ladders. A … Read on 

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Low snowpack could leave hydro system high and dry

Electricity: The BPA predicts it will lose money, and Northwest residents could face higher bills By Ted Sickinger The Oregonian “This is a very serious decline that impacts our power supply and therefore our finances,” said BPA Administrator Steve Wright. … Read on 

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Shortage could still hit farms

Irrigators review water agreement final draft By Ty Beaver Herald & News The Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement still leaves the Klamath Reclamation Project vulnerable to water shortages in an extreme drought situation, attorney Paul Simmons told irrigators. The document also … Read on 

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Small power, big interest

Plant may be built on North Canal Dam By Kate Ramsayer Bend Bulletin Bend’s North Canal Dam, just off of Division Street, has become a focus of the interest swirling around small hydropower projects in Central Oregon. Two companies and … Read on 

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Tacoma Power’s Mossyrock Dam up for renewable energy award

By Staff The East County Journal Tacoma Power’s project to rebuild two generators at Mossyrock Dam stands out as a top renewable energy project and is a finalist for the Utility Scale Renewables Award from RenewableEenrgyWorld.com and Renewable Energy World … Read on 

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Klamath Tribes approve KBRA

By H & N Staff Herald & News CHILOQUIN — The Klamath Tribes voted Tuesday to support a final version of a water settlement agreement and a plan to remove four Klamath River dams to restore fish passage. Tribal members … Read on 

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BPA postpones plan

Agency to study effects of water level changes on Lake Pend Oreille By Becky Kramer Spokesman Review The Bonneville Power Administration has temporarily shelved its request to raise and lower Lake Pend Oreille by up to 5 feet this winter, … Read on 

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Chinook repeat perilous journey

Salmon must endure same obstacles when returning up Oregon Rivers to spawn, then die By Beth Casper and Stefanie Knowlton Directed by her nose and an inexplicable sense of direction, an adult female Chinook will find her way back from … Read on 

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Running for their lives

Will recovery efforts in the Willamette Basin be enough to save a species that scientists fear could become extinct in 40 years? By Beth Casper & Stefanie Knowlton Cold, clear water gurgles past banks thick with vine maples, hemlocks and … Read on 

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Douglas PUD files draft application for FERC relicensing of Wells Dam

By Douglas County PUD Brewster Quad-City Herald Douglas County PUD had filed its draft license application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. This is a major milestone in FERC’s Integrated Licensing Process for the Wells Hydroelectric Project.

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Tieton Hydro Dam sold to California Power Authority

Need for electricity also makes county a good windpower candidate, company’s owner says By Randy Luvaas Yakima Valley Business Times California’s thirst for Northwest electrical power just keeps growing. A Goldendale family corporation has sold its hydroelectric plant at Rimrock … Read on 

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