Hydroelectric Facility Can Boost Output

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will allow a hydropower facility in Washington state to increase its out of electricity for a short period.

WASHINGTON, DC, US, 2001-06-06 [SolarAccess.com] The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will allow a hydropower facility in Washington state to increase its out of electricity for a short period. The decision by FERC will suspend the requirement for the 1,755 MW facility at Priest Rapids to spill water for 16 hours a day in order to assist migrating fish. The action is the result of an order issued in March to increase supplies of electricity in western regions of the U.S. to avoid power shortages and price runups this summer. Suspending the spill requirement will allow for an exchange of spill and power with the Bonneville Power Administration, assuring flexibility and power-grid reliability, FERC explains. Suspending the water spills will allow the Washington plant to generate an additional 219,600 MWh of power this summer, without jeopardizing endangered fish. FERC is soliciting comment on an alternative approach that would suspend spills for an additional eight hours a day to provide another 109,800 MWh of generation to the Pacific Northwest. Hydropower generates two-thirds of the electricity in the region. California expects up to 260 hours of power shortages this summer, due to a lack of generation to meet the demand for air conditioning from June through September.
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