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Council Spotlight

News about energy and natural resources in the Pacific Northwest

Upper Columbia Tribes Draft Work Plan for Salmon Reintroduction


The Spokane-based Upper Columbia United Tribes organization (UCUT) is seeking comments on its draft work plan to study the feasibility of reintroducing salmon and steelhead to areas of the upper Columbia River in the United States that are blocked to fish passage by Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee Dams. Read more.

Upcoming Meetings

JAN 29 : Power Committee Webinar on Generating Resources

JAN 30 : System Analysis Advisory Committee

FEB 10-11 : Council Meeting, Portland

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sea lion

Sea Lions Took Fewer Salmon at Bonneville Dam in 2014, but Willamette Numbers Increasing

New information suggests that consumption of salmon and steelhead by marine mammals at Bonneville Dam in 2014, an estimated 4,746 fish, is higher than in any of the past three years, but lower than it was annually between 2008 and 2010. Meanwhile, predation on salmonids by marine mammals at the base of Willamette Falls on the Willamette River appears to be increasing.

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Scenario Analysis is Coming!

As a planning agency, the Council is obsessed with the future. Although it is impossible to predict it, the Council endeavors to prepare the region with knowledge and tools that can be economically and efficiently employed to ensure that our electricity supply remains inexpensive, adequate, clean, and reliable.

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Update on Redeveloping the Regional Portfolio Model

The Council's regional portfolio model is the primary tool it uses to compare the cost and risk of alternate resource strategies. It has been under redevelopment for the past several months to update its software and improve its transparency

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Building a "Perimeter Defense" Against Invasive Mussels in the Northwest

The economic impact of a Northwest zebra and quagga mussel infestation could be nearly $600 million per year, posing a significant threat to anadromous fish restoration efforts in the West.

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power supply

Keeping Up With Emerging Technologies

For generating and energy efficiency technologies that are promising, but not yet available commercially, the Council will estimate their future costs and potential in the region within the next 10-20 years. Because the cost and performance of these resources is more speculative, they won't be modeled in its resource portfolio model.

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Calculating the Environmental Costs and Benefits of Resources

One of the Council’s important tasks in revising its regional power plan is to develop a methodology to determine the environmental costs and benefits of resources. At its December meeting, the Council agreed on a methodology that it will use in developing its Seventh Power Plan.

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load forecast

Seventh Power Plan Regional Load Forecast to Be Lower Than Sixth Plan's

Partly due to the prolonged recession and energy savings achieved since 2010, the draft plan's high load forecast for 2030 is about the same as the low forecast from the Council's Sixth Power Plan.

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Request for Comment on Draft Direct Use of Natural Gas Issue Paper

Whether it's better to use natural gas directly or to generate electricity for water heaters and space heating has been a longstanding question since the Council's first power plan.

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Washington and Idaho Members Will Lead Council in 2015

The Council elected Washington member Phil Rockefeller and Idaho member Bill Booth to lead the four-state energy and fish and wildlife planning agency in 2015.

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