This is really terrific news: good for salmon, electricity consumers, green power marketing, farmers, and paddlers. Courtesy of the Spokesman-Review of March 16th: "With snowpack back to normal, a surplus of river-generated electricity is now being predicted for the region, according to estimates released Wednesday by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. During summer's peak runoff, the surplus for the entire Columbia River Basin could be as much as 8,000 average megawatts, which is enough juice to power six cities the size of Seattle, according to the council's report. "We have a whole lot more megawatts than we're going to have demand for," said John Harrison, spokesman for the intergovernmental agency that studies regional power needs". It's not only Mother Nature we have to thank. Good old fashioned TreeHugger style conservation deserves part credit. "Although part of the projected power surplus is due to a healthy snowpack, the situation is also caused by continuing weak demand, Harrison said. "Our demand for power has never really come back since the energy crisis of 2000-2001. We're still at 1989 levels." "
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Two important good-news beneficiaries were overlooked: prospective owners of plug-in hybrids and hydrogen synthesizers.
On the graphic: area residents will recognise the familiar peak of "Mount Enron" located mid-range in the chart. Who'd have have thought that the alledged power trade misbehaviors of a Texas firm that long ago would have free'd up all that lovely green power for the residents of today's Pacific Northwest?