Wind vs. water goes to court


Eight Northwest power companies have filed appeals challenging the Bonneville Power Administration’s controversial Environmental Redispatch Policy.

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Eight Northwest power companies have filed appeals challenging the Bonneville Power Administration’s controversial Environmental Redispatch Policy.

The policy calls for wind farms to shut down their turbines when there is high water flow.

The policy is aimed at balancing the grid amid high water flows. From May 18 to July 10, it led to the curtailment of 97,557 megawatts of wind power at 35 wind farms in the Columbia Gorge, or 5.4 percent of total wind power generated during that period.

Wind companies absorbed related losses from missed power sales and unearned tax credits tied to renewable energy production. The policy was drafted following challenges in balancing wind power with high water levels in 2010. BPA has integrated 3,400 megawatt-hours of new wind capacity since 2005. But difficulties with the new capacity emerged this spring.

Read more at Sustainable Business Oregon.

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