Category: Wind & Salmon Connection
FERC Supports Wind Energy, Salmon in Bonneville Power Dispute
Portland, OR—Today, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a ruling on the Bonneville Power Administration’s (BPA) “Environmental Redispatch and No Negative Pricing Policy.” The ruling finds BPA’s curtailment of wind industry access to the power grid during periods of over-generation discriminatory. BPA had cited salmon protections as its motive for the policy. Download the ruling.
When high water levels yielded an excess of hydroelectric energy on the BPA system last spring, BPA opted to shut off wind power rather than spill water over the hydroelectric dams. Reasons for this were varied, but BPA blamed Clean Water Act standards for fish for its decision. But in a report issued by Save Our wild Salmon this fall, analysis showed that increased gas levels in the rivers this year had little impact on migrating salmon. Save Our wild Salmon filed as intervenors in the wind industry’s FERC filing.
“We applaud FERC’s decision today. The wind power industry and salmon industries are mutually beneficial. Allowing the river to flow more like a river is good for salmon, and provides more opportunity for renewable energy development. Our focus now is to work with the wind industry, BPA, and other stakeholders to create shared solutions for 2012 and beyond. That is the needed step in the wake of FERC’s ruling,” said SOS executive director Pat Ford.
“Our power system is evolving to meet the need for a cleaner, less risky tomorrow. Change of any kind brings challenges, and we are confident that today’s FERC ruling will precipitate new levels of collaboration and clean energy advancement as BPA and diverse concerned businesses, environmental and non-profit organizations work together to replace the controversial policy with more appropriate measures,” said Renewable Northwest Project executive director Rachel Shimshak in a statement today.