While it’s great when it is available, the wind can’t be relied on to blow at the precise time the region needs power and it’s also tremendously variable; during the worst of the cold weather, wind generation ranged from 3,370 MW to 74 MW. In the report, the Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and BPA called for spilling more water over the dams at strategic times to help fish migrate faster.The three agencies said they looked at balancing the needs of the environment as well as the … California, previously a major customer for power on the spot market, is experiencing rapid growth in solar energy. They are economically unsustainable now. Snake River dams produce almost as much annual average megawatts as BPA’s conservation programs have achieved in 27 years – at an investment of more than $2.3 billion: Four lower Snake River dams: . . That 50% figure does not include further loss due to avian predation below Bonneville Dam and what fish biologists call delayed mortality caused by the cumulative impact of passage through 8 dams and reservoirs. Under a new agreement, Bonneville Power Administration will adjust its spill policies on dams in the Snake and the Columbia rivers … BPA’s surplus power sales in 2012 totaled $348 million. They are part of the problematic aging U.S. infrastructure that requires more money for maintenance every year. “What that means is that in very low-water years, taking those dams out removes a significant — about 6 percent — of Bonneville’s resources. Support for the Snake River Dams. BPA says the dams produce at a cost of $10 to $14 … Columbia and Snake river dams, such as The Dalles Dam shown here, spill more water than they ever have before to help young fish move downstream to the ocean. On Friday, the federal government released it’s Final Environmental Impact Statement regarding the four lower Snake River dams. navigation). Little criticizes legislators for ‘playing politics’ BOISE — Idaho Gov. The four Lower Snake River projects 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 Lower Snake River Dams Stakeholder Engagement … Brad Little publicly blasted the legislative branch Friday, accusing lawmakers of “playing politics” with his coronavirus emergency declaration and threatening the lives of Idahoans. 3; Energy load growth rates are low in the Pacific Northwest and are likely to remain low. Mitigation costs in FY 2016 were $622 million, reported to be 33% of BPA’s power production costs. Conservation and fishing groups say the federal government’s newest plans to manage dams and protect salmon is inadequate. The April 2016 report “ Survival Estimates for the Passage of Spring-Migrating Juvenile Salmonids through Snake and Columbia River Dams and Reservoirs, 2015 ”, which was prepared by NOAA for BPA, showed just how bad it really was. However, even greater costs loom on the horizon. . For those interested in salmon and steelhead recovery and a sustainable fishery, as well as all BPA electrical ratepayers throughout the PNW, BPA’s decision to breach or maintain these aging dams is highly significant. By early August, river flows have fallen dramatically. Recent below-normal temperatures have underscored the value of the Snake River dams as a Northwest power resource. Given the information covered in this report, we suggest the Lower Snake River dams continue to operate while BPA, Corps, and Reclamation continue to implement fish projects on the Lower Snake River dams. Snake River dams produce almost as much annual average megawatts as BPA’s conservation programs have achieved in 27 years — at an investment of more than $2.3 billion: Four lower Snake River dams: . In 2016 those sales added just $182 million to BPA’s coffers, a decline of 48%. Northwest Resource Information Center’s Investigation of Waste of Federal Funds and Violations of Other Federal Laws by Bonneville Power Authority 2.26.2013 Including just the dams listed below, there are 60 dams in the watershed, with 14 on the Columbia, 20 on the Snake, seven on the Kootenay, seven on the Pend Oreille/ Clark, two on the Flathead, eight on the Yakima, and two on the Owyhee. Notable as well, the forecast includes no funds for repair and rehabilitation of aging hatchery and fish passage facilities. Snake River dams. This page location is: BPA.gov - Bonneville Power Administration They also contribute to BPA’s constantly rising costs for fish and wildlife mitigation and hence overall BPA power production. Columbia and Snake river dams, such as The Dalles Dam shown here, spill more water than they ever have before to help young fish move downstream to the ocean. They’re embarrassed to admit they screwed up. 1. After … 1,022 aMW BPA conservation programs (1982-2008) . . In the report, the Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and BPA called for spilling more water over the dams at strategic times to help fish migrate faster. In providing a 2017 “negative rating outlook” for BPA-backed bonds, Fitch Ratings noted that BPA “faces the issue of aging infrastructure and delayed capital investment.” The agency has “high debt burden, rate pressures, and financial variability of net margins for a hydroelectric utility.” Fitch Ratings summarized: “In recent years the competitive margin between Bonneville’s power rates and market alternatives compressed due to very low natural gas prices, increased generation from renewables, declining energy demands in the region and increasing costs at Bonneville.”. 3. we can see how hydro generation peaks to meet winter power needs and again in the spring when the snowpack melts (see the blue trace in the chart). With that dismal outlook, we must consider the issue of the four lower Snake River (LSR) dams. But Simpson’s remarks dominated the conference. The new blades will be more fish friendly and efficient for power generation. The Lower Snake River Dams produce some of the highest cost power in the BPA system. Given the information covered in this report, we suggest the Lower Snake River dams continue to operate while BPA, Corps, and Reclamation continue to implement fish projects on the Lower Snake River dams. FOIA request of costs on the Snake from 2012 – 2019. But all remaining salmon on its largest tributary, the Snake River, are facing extinction. By Courtney Flatt September 29, 2020. Once past Lower Granite Dam 30 miles west of Lewiston, over 5,000 miles of America’s best salmon and steelhead spawning rivers and streams await them. 5. On Friday, the federal government released it’s Final Environmental Impact Statement regarding the four lower Snake River dams. The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) loses millions of dollars each year from the Lower Snake River Dams. In Fig. Mainzer said the Lower Snake River impoundments are among the lowest-cost dams in the system. Das Kraftwerk Lower Granite (englisch Lower Granite Lock and Dam) ist ein Laufwasserkraftwerk im Bundesstaat Washington, USA.Es ist die 15. Kraftwerk in der Kette von insgesamt 17 Wasserkraftwerken am Snake River, einem linken Nebenfluss des Columbia Rivers.Der Snake River bildet an dieser Stelle die Grenze zwischen dem Franklin und dem Walla Walla County. Debt BPA’s debt is at $14.5 Billion. The 2020 spring spill operation, a critical time for migrating juvenile fish, is nearing its seasonal end on the Columbia and Snake rivers. FR/EIS - Lower Snake River Juvenile Salmon Migration Feasibility Report/Environmental Impact Statement or Lower Snake River Feasibility Report, conducted by the USACE in 2002 Worse, the main reason BPA and the Army Corps of Engineers want to keep the dams is bureaucratic arrogance and pride. In his 149-page ruling in May, Judge Michael H. Simon, a 2010 appointee of President Barack Obama to the U.S. District Court for … . The reservoir behind the dam is named Lake Celilo and runs 24 miles (39 km) up the river channel, to the foot of John Day Dam.The dam is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the power is marketed by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). Some groups fighting for the survival of the Columbia–Snake River Basin’s salmon are taking a more limited approach to dam removal, asking BPA to get rid of only a select few. Like LSR freight transportation over the past 20 years, in this scenario power production would steadily decline, further undermining claims about the importance of the dams in the PNW power grid. Das Kraftwerk Lower Monumental (englisch Lower Monumental Lock and Dam) ist ein Laufwasserkraftwerk im Bundesstaat Washington, USA.Es ist das 16. For example, BPA could support efforts to abolish the Endangered Species Act or join irrigators from the Ice Harbor pool in their effort to have the federal government allow wild Snake River salmon and steelhead become extinct. It is part of an extensive system of dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers.. Fitch Ratings called attention to the predictable results of BPA’s long-delayed asset investments. BPA funded Kintama Research is simply trying to create a debate in order to keep the Snake River dams in place. With a 16% power surplus projected to last over the next 20 years, the LSR dams produce just 6.5% of the PNW’s hydropower. . Unbelievably, the plan also states “the actions will not get us to recovery.”. It must all be paid back, with interest. “Many assets will also be forced to operate well beyond their design lives, posing a significant maintenance burden in the future in order to keep assets in service until their replacement dates.” For most of the LSR dam turbines, the end of turbine design life is already here. If Kintama were correct that dams do not harm fish, we would not see salmon populations rebounding in many rivers where dams have been removed, such as on the Elwha River here in Washington and the Rogue River in Oregon. PNW wind energy alone has three times the capacity of all four LSR dams combined. An Idaho Power Company spokesperson recently referred to the PNW power surplus as an energy “glut.”. Here is what BPA found: 1) It will cost BPA’s ratepayers $400 million to $550 million a year to replace all the power capabilities lost through breaching the lower Snake River dams. In the report, the Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and BPA called for spilling more water over the dams at strategic times to help fish migrate faster.The three agencies said they looked at balancing the needs of the environment as well as the … Bonneville and the Corps are providing information on three categories: 1) Capital Hydropower Improvement Projects; 2) Columbia River Fish Mitigation (CRFM) Projects; and 3) Other Non-Power Capital Projects (e.g. Four aging dams in Washington state block passage along the lower Snake River, a major migration corridor linking pristine cold water streams in central Idaho to the mighty Columbia River … . After nearly 20 years of mitigation efforts and the expenditure of billions of ratepayer dollars, some Snake River … BPA – Bonneville Power Administration DREW – Drawdown Regional Economic Workgroup Ecosystem Services – Benefits people derive from nature, free of charge. Lower Snake River Dam Breach Mitigation Plan and Cost 2020.. Economic Anthology: A Collection of Works 1.28.2019. . The fight over salmon and dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers could be going back to the courtroom. . Some groups fighting for the survival of the Columbia–Snake River Basin’s salmon are taking a more limited approach to dam removal, asking BPA to get rid of only a select few. This could be the sixth time federal hydropower plans for the Columbia and Snake River dams end up in court. Even though they are loosing money, BPA continues their campaign to justify the Snake River Dams. In 2018 and into the future, with less demand and falling prices, BPA’s spot power revenues will likely continue to decline. It is part of an extensive system of dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers.. Response: The Columbia Basin is one of the most important sources of sa lmon for the Southern Resident orcas. In 2007, BPA had financial reserves of $917 million. . The Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River. Today that rate is $35.57, an increase of 32%. BPA’s 2018-2023 Strategic Plan 01.2018. In its 2002 Lower Snake River Juvenile Salmon Migration Feasibility Report, the Walla Walla District of the Corps of Engineers stated that the 24 turbines in the LSR dams each has a useful life of 35-45 years. This decision impacts the operations at the lower four Snake River dams by requiring the dams to spill more water, decreasing the electrical output of the dams and estimating an increase in cost of 2-3 percent. 2. 1,190 aMW Lower Granite Dam — capacity 810 MW, energized 1975 CREDIT: BPA . The accords prohibit those who sign on from supporting lower Snake River dam breaching, the universally accepted best way to recover endangered salmon. Now, they’re ready to sue. Removal of the dams would take about 730 megawatts of energy from the carrying capability of the BPA, Paschal said. A BPA press release identified three driving forces behind the agency’s most recent increase of 5.4%. This represents over 10 percent Here’s why: all the energy produced by the LSRDs is surplus power—extra energy that’s not needed to sufficiently supply the PNW—and so it’s sold on the open market. Two turbines (Ice Harbor) are presently being rehabbed at a cost approaching $100 million. Final EIS Calls For Snake River Dams To Remain On Friday, the federal government released it’s Final Environmental Impact Statement regarding the four lower Snake River dams. Lower Snake River Dams (LSRDs). Most of the BPA hydro, including from the lower Snake River, serves public power utilities in the Northwest under long term contracts. BPA administers electrical power from the Snake River dams and Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River. READ ON. They generate about 1,024 aMW, representing about 12 percent of BPA's average annual energy generation. Recent below-normal temperatures have underscored the value of the Snake River dams as a Northwest power resource. This decision impacts the operations at the lower four Snake River dams by requiring the dams to spill more water, decreasing the electrical output of the dams and estimating an increase in cost of 2-3 percent. Supporting this alternative, BPA’s Large Capital Investment Forecast FY2016-FY2035 includes major investments in Grand Coulee and McNary dam turbines, but only limited amounts for the 4 LSR dams spread over the 20-year forecast period. Historically, BPA has beefed up its bottom line with sales of surplus power on the spot market; that is, power not contracted to preferred customers such as public utility districts. BPA is buying silence and fealty. These dams and their respective reservoirs contribute significantly to the ongoing collapse of Snake River threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead. Nine LSR turbines are older than 45 years, six exceed 40 years, and the remaining nine will reach the upper end of their projected useful lives by 2025. Apple) are producing their own power or purchasing it from providers outside the BPA system. (A related observation: Congressional authorization to maintain these dams, their turbines and the navigation channel, should not be seen as, and is not, a Congressional mandate.) Snake River Dams (LSRDs) — but BPA has chosen to await the results of a federal court-ordered Environmental Impact Study due in 2021 to determine the LSRDs’ fate. Simpson’s assault on these problems won’t be easy. It allows for more springtime spill over dams to help juvenile salmon migrating out to the Pacific Ocean. Burdened by a 33% overhead cost not experienced by its competitors, falling demand for its product, and fish recovery requirements it cannot meet, BPA faces stark challenges. Reputable studies have concluded that the biggest factor in the continued decline of Snake River salmon and steelhead is the hydroelectric system of dams. They are economically unsustainable now. In the event of an extended cold snap or another power plant shutting down unexpectedly, the lower Snake dams can produce in excess of 2,650 MW of energy over a sustained period of 10 hours per day for five consecutive days. Other alternatives exist. The reservoir behind the dam is named Lake Celilo and runs 24 miles (39 km) up the river channel, to the foot of John Day Dam.The dam is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the power is marketed by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). Almost all industries that once used the LSR for freight transportation have abandoned the river, and freight volumes have declined by over 50%. The price of power on the spot market touched $58 per Megawatt hour (MWh) in 2008, hovered around $30 per MWh 2010-2014, and dropped into the low $20s by 2016. . 3. we can see how hydro generation peaks to meet winter power needs and again in the spring when the snowpack melts (see the blue trace in the chart). . BPA could also publicly recognize that it cannot compete in the power market with a burdensome 33% add-on cost for fish and wildlife mitigation that its competitors do not face, and that its customer base will dwindle after 2028 when its 20-year contracts with many of its preferred customers end. These dams will be breached in the future due to the economics. In Fig. In doing so, the Corps and BPA will avoid financial and biological losses, decrease power rates for Washington, and finally put an end to a + 25 year-long debate. . While this paper describes some of the economic, financial, and biological reasons for breaching the LSRDs, its primary purpose is to show . 4 Yet they keep hanging on to the Lower Snake River Dams, some of their most high-cost, low-value assets. In 2010 BPA’s average preferred customer wholesale electricity rate was $26.82 per Megawatt hour (MWh). The four Lower Snake River Dams are man-made structures with a finite lifetime. BPA markets an approximate total of 82,000,000 Megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity each year from all its sources for about $3 billion. A second alternative would be to let the LSR dam turbines run themselves out, bolstered by only minor repairs, and to take turbines off-line when they pose a safety risk or are simply dead. The non-profit federal agency is required by law to balance The 2020 spring spill operation, a critical time for migrating juvenile fish, is nearing its seasonal end on the Columbia and Snake rivers. After nearly 20 years of mitigation efforts and the expenditure of billions of ratepayer dollars, some Snake River wild fish runs were recently described in Idaho newspapers as being in a state of collapse and in serious jeopardy of extinction. 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