The NW Energy Coalition offered the following statement in response to the recent release of the Columbia River System Operations draft EIS.
The Columbia River System Operations draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) offers a clean energy replacement portfolio, which confirms the primary finding of the NW Energy Coalition’s 2018 Lower Snake River Dams Power Replacement Study, that clean, renewable energy resources can reliably replace power from the dams. However, the DEIS replacement portfolio appears to significantly overstate the cost and the amount of new generating resources that would be required to do the job.
The Coalition is still examining this alternative, however, our initial review indicates the DEIS replacement scenario relies almost exclusively on a single renewable resource – solar power backed up by battery storage — and fails to consider a broader array of replacement resources, including wind power and a more aggressive deployment of energy efficiency and demand response. Consequently, the replacement portfolio fails to take advantage of the performance and cost benefits afforded by a more diverse mix of clean energy resources. Over the next few weeks, the Coalition will examine that issue as well as other elements of the dam removal alternative. The findings of the Coalition analysis will be made public on our website and will be submitted as part of the EIS comment process.