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Council Spotlight

News about energy and natural resources in the Pacific Northwest

Seals and Sea Lions Are Following Fish Into the Columbia River


An aerial survey by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in February counted more than 6,000 seals and 1,600 sea lions in the Astoria area, according to a report in The Seattle Times. Read more.

Upcoming Meetings

MAR 24 : Conservation Resources Advisory Committee

MAR 27 : RTF Implementers Group

APR 7-8 : Council Meeting, Helena

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Early Discussions About Scenario Analysis Focus on Carbon, Renewables, and Climate Change Impacts

In March, the Council heard feedback from stakeholders about the draft set of scenarios it plans on using in its modeling to develop the Seventh Power Plan. The scenario analysis will help shed light on how different resource strategies will perform under a wide variety of potential future conditions.

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Fish Managers Expect Another Good Salmon and Steelhead Return in 2015

Columbia River salmon runs should top 2 million fish again in 2015, continuing a trend of record or near-record runs over last decade compared to runs in the 1990s, fish managers reported to the Council this month.

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led light

Potential Gains in Energy Efficiency Remain for Seventh Power Plan

A preliminary assessment of potential energy efficiency shows that the region could gain about 5,100 average megawatts over the next 20 years; about 2,700 of that costs less than $40 per megawatt hour.

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density dependence

Big Salmon Runs Today – What about the Future?

2014 was a record year for salmon in the Columbia River. But the productivity of naturally spawning salmon is decreasing due to a mechanism called “density dependence” that regulates the growth of populations, as detailed in this report by the Independent Scientific Advisory Board.

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wind power plant

Gas, Wind, Solar Will Be Modeled for Seventh Power Plan

Natural gas, wind, and solar power plants are the most significant forms of energy generation that, in combination with improvements in energy efficiency and demand response, will be included in modeling as the Council develops the portfolio of resources to meet future demand for power in the Seventh Northwest Power Plan.

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water heaters

Council Retains Market-based Approach to Fuel-switching Policy

Ever since the first Northwest Power Plan in 1982, the Council has recognized that consumers have a choice of fuels for their water heaters. The predominant choice is natural gas.

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