skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

FERC rule to spark energy transmission building nationwide; Rudy Giuliani pleads not guilty to felony charges in AZ election interference case; new digital tool emerges to help MN students with FAFSA woes; WY governor to talk property tax shifts in a TeleTown Hall.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Israel's Prime Minister calls the new ICC charges unfair. Trump's lawyers found more classified documents in Mar-a-Lago, months after an FBI's search. And a new report finds election deniers are advancing to the fall election.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.

Study: Snake River Dams Could Be Replaced with Renewables

play audio
Play

Friday, April 6, 2018   

BOISE, Idaho – A new study finds hydropower from the lower Snake River dams could be replaced with renewable-energy sources, potentially providing a framework for saving the region's salmon.

A major linchpin in the argument against breaching the four dams has been the energy they produce, which amounts to about 4 percent of the Pacific Northwest's electricity. Conservation and fishing groups say the dams are a major impediment to migrating salmon and have pushed them nearly to extinction.

Sean O'Leary is communications director with the Northwest Energy Coalition, which commissioned the study.

"Any discussion of removing the dams really couldn't get past the question of, 'What do we do if the lights go off?' And so, the fact that this study shows categorically that reliability will actually be enhanced with a portfolio of renewable resources takes that issue off the table," says O’Leary.

The study, conducted by Utah-based Energy Strategies, only lays out the minimum requirements for transitioning to renewable power. O'Leary says agencies would be able to optimize resources and create a more efficient and inexpensive plan.

The research concludes that replacing the dams would cost customers a little more than a dollar per month and would not require a new gas-fired coal plant to transition.

Supporters of the dams say agriculture producers in the region rely on them for barging. But O'Leary believes a transition away from the dams could actually help nearby communities.

"That build-out of resources – wind, solar and storage – will require a lot of jobs and a lot of investment in the region that will help, as would removal of the dams,” says O’Leary. “So those are things that will accrue to the benefit of those communities in many cases, as well as the fishing and tourism industries that will grow."

A district court judge rejected the federal government's plan to protect the region's endangered salmon in 2016. The decision requires agencies to devise a new approach, including consideration of breaching the dams, and a draft environmental impact statement is expected by March 2020.

Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador and other regional leaders are pushing to hold a vote on House Bill 3144, which would require action from Congress to remove the dams.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
Marine research on a recent expedition off of Santa Cruz Island in Southern California mapped the habitat of red gorgonian coral, sea stars and sheepshead fish. (Danny Ocampo/Oceana)

Environment

play sound

Marine researchers just wrapped up the first of three ocean expeditions off the coast of Southern California to map the biodiversity and support effor…


Social Issues

play sound

Michigan's population has hovered around the 10 million mark for the past 20+ years, but the state's latest report outlines projections of a …

Health and Wellness

play sound

More skin cancers are diagnosed than all other cancers combined and one in five Americans will have some type of skin cancer by age 70. Nebraska is …


The current lack of cohesive planning has made building new transmission lines difficult, prompting FERC's new rule. (Gregory Johnston/Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

A new step from the federal government takes a step toward modernizing the process for building energy transmission lines - while also protecting wild…

Social Issues

play sound

Americans got a bit of a reprieve last month, as food and auto prices dipped for the first time in 90 days. As Texas households continue to deal …

Black women are at particularly high risk of heart disease and stroke during pregnancy, which TaShenma Mack found out firsthand before the birth of her daughter. (Photo courtesy of TaShenma Mack)

Health and Wellness

play sound

North Carolina's maternal death rate is higher than the national average and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among new moms in th…

play sound

The effect of technical glitches in overhauling the student financial-aid form known as FAFSA is still being felt. Issues stemming from a redesign …

Social Issues

play sound

A newly passed Connecticut bill will modernize the teacher certification process. House Bill 5436 is expected to make it easier for educators to …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021