Salmon Habitats Reap Rewards of Renewable Energy

Oregon is getting seven new salmon and steelhead habitat restoration projects, thanks to Pacific Power and Portland General Electric’s Habitat option/Salmon-Friendly electricity customers. In another environmental development, two of the utilities’ popular renewable power products are increasing their wind power content.

Portland, Oregon – February 20, 2003 [] For the Sake of the Salmon announced seven new salmon habitat restoration projects in Oregon, supported by more than 6,000 customers who purchase the utilities’ Habitat renewable power option, the Green Mountain Energy Salmon-Friendly Plan. By choosing the Salmon-Friendly option, customers make a monthly contribution through their electricity bill to For the Sake of the Salmon’s Pacific Salmon Watershed Fund (PSWF). The contributions go directly to projects that restore habitat for threatened fish. “By signing up for the Salmon-Friendly option, Oregonians are putting their dollars to work for salmon,” said Betsy Kauffman, program manager with For the Sake of the Salmon. “The projects funded by the program are opening up more than 15 miles of habitat that currently is blocked for fish passage. The Habitat option is a great opportunity for those who care about the future of our salmon runs to help make a difference.” The announcement was made at the site of a recently rebuilt fish ladder near Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham. The additional projects will restore fish habitat in locations near Lakeside, on the southern Oregon Coast, Scappoose, Happy Valley, Oregon City, Canby and Albany. “Restoring salmon habitat and purchasing renewable power sends signals throughout the energy community that Oregonians will put their money where their hearts are when it comes to choosing cleaner energy,” said Bill Edmonds, director of environmental policy for Pacific Power. “Projects like these are the most visible ways our customers have improved the survival of threatened salmon and steelhead,” said Thor Hinckley, PGE’s manager of renewable products. “Customers who choose the Salmon-Friendly option have an important role in restoring this resource.” In addition to the salmon habitat projects, Green Mountain Energy Company announced an increase in wind content of Pacific Power’s and PGE’s Renewable Usage and Habitat options from 15 to 20 percent new wind. The wind power will come from the Stateline wind-generation facility, located on the Oregon/Washington border. The products’ remaining 80 percent of energy will be generated from geothermal sources in northern California. The change in the renewable content will not result in a price increase but will increase the amount of carbon dioxide a household can avoid. An Oregon household using about 1000 kWh a month can now prevent more than 3,500 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually – as much as a car makes when driven almost 4,000 miles. “Increasing the amount of wind in these renewable options gives Oregonians an even more powerful way to reduce their household’s share of CO2,” said Karen Norris, program director for Green Mountain Energy Company in Oregon. “Customers in Oregon are responsible for this improvement; they are part of a large customer base that is increasingly demonstrating demand for sources of cleaner energy.” Since March 1, 2002, Oregonians have been able to choose from three renewable power options: Fixed Renewable — PGE’s Clean Wind and Pacific Power’s Blue Sky wind power; Renewable Usage — Green Mountain Energy Electricity; and Habitat — Green Mountain Energy Salmon-Friendly Plan.
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