Conservation Corner – August 2022

Hydropower has existed for a long, long time

Before there were hydroelectric dams, people harnessed the energy from flowing water to turn water wheels to power basic machinery. With the introduction of electricity, people applied this same concept to spinning turbines to generate energy, and the hydroelectric dam was born.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of hydroelectricity is its simplicity, as it relies on merely gravity and the flow of water to generate energy. The result of using rivers as a source of fuel is that no pollution is created as a byproduct, making hydropower a clean energy source. Additionally, the efficiency of this form of generation means that it has the capacity to deliver massive amounts of power when installed on larger rivers. And, unlike most other forms of energy generation, the fuel for hydropower can be used repeatedly as it passes from one dam down to the next. This aids in the renewability of hydro, while driving down it’s costs.

Almost all the power delivered from Columbia REA to you is renewable, most of it from our local Dams.

Hydropower facts:

  • 14 million US households served by the Northwest’s hydroelectric output in an average year
  • 34.3 thousand Megawatts of generating capacity of Northwest hydroelectric dams
  • 16.2 thousand - The yearly average output of megawatts by Northwest hydroelectric dams
  • 90% of the Northwest's renewable, carbon-free annual electricity
  • 47$ of the Northwest's total average annual electricity production
  • 0 carbon emissions generated by hydropower production

Charlie DeSalvo, Energy Efficiency Specialist

If you have any questions about energy efficiency, email Charlie DeSalvo or call (509) 526-4041.