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The Bonneville Power Administration will stick to a plan to curtail wind power in response to high water levels in the hydro system, at least for now.

So the wind power that Bonneville Power, a US Federal Agency, and the right wing GOP and the Obama administration said was just a hobby and could not replace oil and we have to drill baby drill....all turns out to be a lie as the windfarms built in the Northwest are proving TOO SUCCESSFUL, generating TOO MUCH POWER and must be shut down to preserve coal, oil, natural gas and hydro power.

The hydro power that has killed the Columbia River basin ecology, destroying millions of jobs and billions of salmon all to generate hydro power that IS NOT NEEDED due to wind power generation.

Spilling water isn’t always an option because the force of falling water creates bubbles that dissolve as gas in waterways, causing harm to fish and violating the Clean Water Act.

Demonstrating that the claim of "clean hydro power" was always a lie.  Spilling the water is the only physically safe way for the salmon spawn to get down river. The turbines kill them like giant pressurized garbage disposals.  Now it turns out the spill is also polluting the water by pumping gas into it, this after it sits in unnatural dam created lakes getting too hot.

It is clear by the wind power success that we can eliminate dams completely, such as those on the Snake River that do little power generation due to silting up and do major damage to endangered salmon.  It is also clear we could reduce the height of current main stem dams to increase the natural flow rate, building natural stair spillways that would boost salmon production and add 15,000 jobs and billions in new industry per RAND study.

But that is not what the "tax breaks for oil", drill baby drill, spill baby spill, wars for oil gang in DC do even though wind power alone is proving that sustainable energy can do the job with no Middle East oil war costs, not greenhouse gas costs, no destroyed salmon run cost.

If Obama administration were really based on Obama's promise of a green economy, he would not be letting the Federal BPA from destroying the successful, sustainable wind farms and destroying US future.

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Comment Preferences

  •  No, we can't get rid of all the dams. (8+ / 0-)

    Not in the foreseeable future.  They may kill fish but they don't contribute to global warming.  Yes, we could improve them for fish, and we should.  

    "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau -6.38, -4.15

    by James Allen on Wed May 18, 2011 at 02:34:43 PM PDT

    •  Cleary we must get rid of the dams. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greendem, Earth Ling, Cliss, socalmonk

      And dam removal is going ahead on many smaller tributary rivers.

      The fact that windpower has to shutdown to allow for the destructive hydropower makes it clear that dams can be eliminated and reduced.

      Much of the flooding in the mid-West is due to dams, aka levees creating unnatural water ways, destroying once rich farmland and sea food producing tidal wetlands.

      Look at just the Snake River dams as an example.  They cannot generate power because they have silted up so much they useless.RAND study showed that removing the dams would create some 15,000 jobs and boost the NW economy by some 1.5%. That is huge.  And it creates a sustainable environment for the salmon which in turn creates thousands of more jobs in recreational and commercial fishing industry.

      The engineering and construction jobs would be perfect during the Great Recession, providing the same economic boost that building the dams did during the Great Depression with the added benefit of science tellin us we are restoring a sustainable system and not only adding jobs for the project but a sustainable green economy for the future.

      Now what presidential candidate formerly known as Obama was big on building a green economy?  And here president Obama is allowing Federal government to kill the green economy.

      •  Oregon isn't the midwest, and hydroelectric (7+ / 0-)

        power isn't more destructive than wind power.

        That said, the dams that are not contributing much hydroelectric power, I agree, should be removed.

        Those dams that do provide most of the Northwest's energy should not be removed for the foreseeable future.  The Columbia River is a great gift from nature to Oregonians and our neighbors, and the hydroelectric dams built on it are a great gift from our past leaders like Charles McNary.  They make it possible for the Northwest to have electricity without fossil fuels or nuclear, if we make the right choices.

        "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau -6.38, -4.15

        by James Allen on Wed May 18, 2011 at 03:25:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  they do contribute to global warming (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      socalmonk

      by creating O2 depleted zones they encourage the production of methane at depth, as well as N-Oxide gases, all of which are much more powerful heat-forcing greenhouse gases than CO2.  They also absorb heat from the sun at a much higher rate than bare earth or the green vegetation they almost always replace.  Hydro power has far less impact on global warming than any form of fossil fuel, but it is incorrect to say that it does not contribute to global warming.

  •  clean renewable energy (6+ / 0-)

    not enough money in that, it will be squashed at every turn.

    well unless exxon buys the sun and air of the earth, then they could lease them to us, but until then...

    Bad is never good until worse happens

    by dark daze on Wed May 18, 2011 at 02:36:59 PM PDT

    •  Crazy part there IS money in windpower. (8+ / 0-)

      The windpower folks should be selling their power and Federal BPA should be reducing the dams, saving the salmon, lessening the deadly effects of the dams on environment.

      The windpower industry is one of the few big construction projects going on in the NW with freighters with turbines and blades keeping the ports and rails working.  Construction crews building them, running lines, local mfg. plants being built adding thousands of jobs.

      All that versus the jobs killing, unsustainable, destructive hydropower.

  •  I'm assuming I missed it (10+ / 0-)

    but could you please provide the quote where the Obama Administration deems wind power is "just a hobby"?  Thank you.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 02:42:05 PM PDT

    •  Yes you missed it. Feds shutdown windpower. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Earth Ling, Cliss, socalmonk

      Read the link the diary where the Federal agency, BPA is shutting down the windpower.

      There's this Obama guy who said if elected he'd push Federal government to a green economy and here he got elected and now his agency is killing the green economy.

      •  It is a temporary shut down (30+ / 0-)

        because you don't want too much electricity in the grid.  I had the substation at the hydro plant one mile from my house blow up, not fun.  They never did tell us what happened.  Where the high voltage lines transition to cross the country road I live on, the lines sparked setting the brush on fire on both sides of the road.  There were also fires at the plant substation as well.  It is all rebuilt and the plant is now owned by a French energy company.

        You can't stop a hydro plant easily but you can stop and wind farm.  If we had a better grid system in this country, we would be able to divert the extra electricity to areas that need it.  However, our grid stinks and so instead of frying everybody's houses or the substations, they need to cut back electricity production and since you can't really do much about a bunch of water heading into your hydro plant, but you can stop the blades of a wind turbine, that is the action they are taking.  No big conspiracy here, just the results of a piecemeal electric grid.

        •  Thank you. (12+ / 0-)

          Oh, and did I say, thank you?  Nothing like real world facts.

          " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

          by gchaucer2 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 03:13:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You have it backwards. Can't stop wind. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Earth Ling, petral, socalmonk
          You can't stop a hydro plant easily but you can stop and wind farm.

          Reverse is the fact. The windmills keep turning, they just disengage the generator and waste the power.

          Hydro could do the same or what they should do is spill as that is the only way the salmon smolts survive.  The gases in the water is a cover for BPA. Big court case that Obama/BPA have been losing for last two years in which Judge Redden has rejected Obama/BPA/EPA spill plans and told them law and science are clear, they must do what is best for the salmon.

          The fact that they don't need the hydroelectric power, proven by the success of the windpower farms to the point BPA must disconnect them simply makes the anti-green economy, anti-environmental, anti-science decision of Obama/BPA outrageous.

          •  Actually the newer wind turbines are pretty (5+ / 0-)

            advanced. It can be howling wind around here and they only run the ones they need. And yes, I can see Shiloh from my porch.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/...

            Wolverines and Badgers and Buckeyes - Oh My! Be Afraid Kochroaches. Be very afraid.

            by mrsgoo on Wed May 18, 2011 at 04:14:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  No. (7+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JayBat, rfall, VClib, sphealey, pgm 01, George, njr

            You obviously don't see any windmills from where you live.

            When they are off, they feather the vanes and they don't spin.

            Also, the windmills on current energy contracts are not subject to the BPA "we'll take hydropower now because the water is high" decision.

            I'll be frank--we have land that has 13 2 mw wind turbines that are not on current energy contracts and seeing them not running in the wind we have there is maddening.  However I can understand the rational decision during the huge water year we are having in the PNW of not putting too much water over the spillway vs. the turbine penstocks.  They can't hold it back and they can only put so much over the spillways due to the dissolved nitrogen problem.  Taking the dams out is not a solution.

            And where would those "millions of jobs" have been that were killed by having dams on the Columbia and Snake River system?  Seen photos of the 1948 flood in the Tri-Cities too?  Wonder what Portland, OR would look like all flooded?

            My core tenets:
            • I am intolerant of only intolerance
            • I am prejudiced only against prejudice
            • I hate only hate
            But Republicans continue to strive to be the subject of these three tenets.

            by DrSpalding on Wed May 18, 2011 at 04:22:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  re:grid (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Johnny Q, pgm 01

          Around the BPA dams we're blessed to have a developed enough grid to be able to add wind capacity without much more work, so that we actually can build wind farms to sell clean energy to Californians.

          "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau -6.38, -4.15

          by James Allen on Wed May 18, 2011 at 03:31:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  And the quote about (10+ / 0-)

        it being just a hobby is where?

        I read the diary -- I read the link.  Where's the quote?  And please name the "Obama guy."

        I've practiced enviro law for 20 years and represented enviro groups.  Do you want to know their biggest problem?  Quoting stuff that doesn't exist.

        " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

        by gchaucer2 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 03:10:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Obama/BPA vs. wind power, green economy. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cliss
          " And please name the "Obama guy."

          Really?

          Ah to be back in wonderland when Obama was for a green economy.  I was for a green economy before I was against it.  No doubt that will be Obama's campaign appeal to his new target base, Reagan voters.

          Here is a clear decision by Federal agency that hurts green economy, hurts environment yet you defend it because of a misplaced loyalty to Obama.

          •  So -- your answer is (11+ / 1-)

            you have no fucking clue.

            There's a reason I gave up representing a good number of environmental groups -- because they were comprised with people like you.  Hysteria and no data/facts to back their hysteria up.

            I love the come back of "misplaced loyalty to Obama" when you make shite up.  Carry on.  There's plenty of folks here who love this kind of bullshite.

            " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

            by gchaucer2 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 03:31:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  BuzzLightyear, this is no way to win any (6+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rfall, VClib, Ezekial 23 20, DianeNYS, sphealey, njr

            debate on DKos or much of anywhere else.

            I agree that wind power is vital to our future. ALso, dams have been built in destructive ways and some of them should be removed.  But you'e talking about one situation where wind power is temporarily shut down to deal with the reality of excess water and the need to move that water along through the turbines.  This does not in ANY WAY prove that hydro power isn't needed.  

            Even though I expect we can get to where we supply all our power through wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, biofuels, and other sustainable means, we aren't there yet, and we can't just tear down the dams while we're still burning huge amounts of carbon-based fuel.

            YOur criticisms of the Obama administration, because of ONE TEMPORARY decision in a year of incredible flooding -- that's just completely wierd and totally unjustified.  You seem to be concerned about the right things, basically, but you've got to have more solid facts and analysis if you want to be taken seriously.

            •  Worse, BL seems to think that s/he can make up (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VClib, sphealey

              ....quotes and then, when called on it, change the subject and rant about something else.

              I think this is what gchaucer2 was saying:  too many otherwise well-meaning environmentalists make up quotes and facts to make their case, when the truth alone would do just fine.

              "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

              by rfall on Wed May 18, 2011 at 05:05:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  A question about timing. (4+ / 0-)

    Is this a recent, as in the last two weeks, sort of announcement? If so, there is probably an excess of water since Eastern Washington has had atypical flooding in a lot of places that feed into the Columbia.

    I am not an electrical engineer, but one of the issues about electrical which wind power feeds into the system is that there are tricks to make sure the electrical power flows smoothly and does not spike and do bad things to the system from overload, and right now, the dams are probably near that themselves, without wind power.

    Another problem with Bonneville and the like is that they also have contracts to supply juice to California, and we in WA sometimes end up paying what amount to premiums for power we don't get.

    •  Question of sustainable wnd vs. unsustainable hydr (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      socalmonk

      Both the windpower and the hydro are generating power.  Not enough demand for the electricity so BPA is shutting down the sustainable power and going with the more profitable for them, more damaging to environment, more damaging to building a green economy.

      Doubly crazy because we are burning coal that could be replaced by both the hydro and wind power if the US was really committed to a green economy and had a jobs/energy/environmental policy to build out the national grid to use more sustainable wind power vs. coal, oil, gas or hydro.

    •  Don't complain about exporting energy. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      erratic, means are the ends

      We in Oregon and Washington make more net than we are paying for when we export energy.  It means jobs here.

      "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau -6.38, -4.15

      by James Allen on Wed May 18, 2011 at 03:28:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  To Buzz: (0+ / 0-)

        My understanding of allocation of electricity from Bonneville is that much of it is sold to California, and that we in WA pay more as a result. I am not aware that we have insufficient demand.  Evidence you can post that that's what is supposedly going on?  And it is not going to stop raining in WA and the Northern Rockies so in what way is hydro not sustainable, assuming it is propoerly distributed.

        To James: oh? That's not what Puget Sound Energy says to me in my bills.

        •  How? (0+ / 0-)

          How does selling electricity to California make your bill in WA higher? That doesn't make any sense at all.

          Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

          by jam on Thu May 19, 2011 at 02:13:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  There is so much wrong in this diary (10+ / 0-)

    its hard to know where to start.

    Any sensible energy policy will include a menu of production methods including wind, hydroelectric. solar, nuclear, coal and oil/gas.

    A sensible policy will juggle these different sources in order to achieve a stated objective. In the last century, this was direct cost minimisation, and to hell with the environment. This century, environmental costs are being woven into the decison process (slowly in the US, faster in Europe)

    So, as we all know the sun doesn't shine at night, and the wind doesn't blow every day, so a sensible energy policy needs to have a maximum production capacity which is a multiple of the demand. So when the wind doesn't blow, we can use solar in the day, and hydroelectric at night. In very advanced systems, excess daytime power can be used to pump water upstream to provide a head of water for when its needed.

    So when you have excess water pressure ( anyone following the Mississipi diaries?), there may be  times when hydro is favoured over wind. If you don't need the power, why generate it?

    Now the current system is not perfect, and while they shut down the wind power, they are still running nuclear and coal, but nuclear is not an on/off source, and I am guessing that the utilities have a quota for renewables. When they have made their quota from renewables, be it wind, solar, geothermal. hydro, then they will revert to the old model of what is the cheapest marginal source.

    And until the economics are that oil/coal nuclear are the most expensive marginal cost, they will continue with their current paractices.

    "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

    by senilebiker on Wed May 18, 2011 at 03:04:11 PM PDT

    •  Wrong for Feds to shutdown wind and go hydro. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Earth Ling

      Sorry but you fail to read the facts by RAND or the basis for the BPA decision and then DEFEND the actions of the non-sustainable power providers vs. the sustainable.

      You take an indefensible position, indefensible from a technology, science and economic standpoint.

      1. Technology.  The current "problem" is the wind farms are generating TOO MUCH USABLE POWER.  Competing with entrenched unsustainable power providers. In this case, hydro power.

      2. Science.  Lessening the dependence upon and impact of the dams boosts the economy and boosts the sustainable fishing industry.

      3. Economics. The wind power is the basis for a green economy per RAND. It will provide jobs and industry. This has proven to be true on world's top economies of Germany and China, worlds leaders on green economy.

      Defending a bad decision simply because you like Obama, the person ultimately responsible for the bad decision, is wrong in every way.

      •  I really should n't reply but WTF? (9+ / 0-)

        1) The system is generating too much energy, and wind turbines are but one part of the mix. Hydro is green, renewable and sustainable, but like wind cannot be relied upon for a constant max loading.

        2) Get off your thing about hydro, which is renewable and generates no CO2. If you want to get your knickers in a twist, worry about coal, oil, gas and nuclear (in that order). In the big scheme, the very small percentage of fucked up fish due to hydro power is insignificant.

        3) Wind power is the immediate future, will create jobs, and reduce CO2 emissions. I know because Ilive in Germany.

        And as fore liking Obama, what has that got to do with anything you have said?

        "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

        by senilebiker on Wed May 18, 2011 at 03:26:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well You Also Have Megawatts of Rooftop Solar (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fiona West, socalmonk

          already in place and generating, too.

          We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

          by Gooserock on Wed May 18, 2011 at 03:46:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Hydro is not green. Very destructive. (0+ / 0-)
          Hydro is green, renewable and sustainable, but like wind cannot be relied upon for a constant max loading.

          Hydro electric dams are very destructive to the environment.  They have decimated the seafood industry.  In this case the billions of salmon were killed of by the dams.  

          The dams destroy the sustainable river ecosystem.  If you had read the linked article about BPA killing the windpower, you will note that their is no way for the dam to pass the water that is not destructive. The turbines are giant garbage disposals, destroying the fish. The spill as the article notes creates deadly overloads of dissolved gases. That's on top of the hot water lake the dam makes out a previously cold, fast moving river that supported millions of tons of salmon.  The dams trap needed downriver silt which in turn fills up the artificial hot lakes, rendering the dam less and less useful over time.

          Wind has ZERO problems.  Wind is a much cleaner, greener and sustainable power source.  When the wind power is available, as it is now, it should be the power of choice, not the destructive hydropower.

          •  zero? (0+ / 0-)

            I've read posts claiming birds are killed in wind turbines...
            I'll go back and find some and check their sourcing...

            •  Zero. (0+ / 0-)
              I've read posts claiming birds are killed in wind turbines...

              No more than any other man made object like windows in buildings that birds might run into.

              Comparing clean, sustainable windpower to massively destructive hydro power reminds me of the Fox News equivalence principle where a Nobel economist like Krugman is "counterbalanced" by a talking head news reader who stayed at a Holiday Inn express.

              Hydropower dams are hugely destructive to the environment.   Look at the current debates in Asia on damming the Yangtze and Mekong and destroying the rivers and the huge food chains that millions depend upon for survival.

              In the US, most of the engineering and science is about dam removal to undo the damage.

              Here we have windpower proving it can replace the dams, exactly as predicted by RAND study 10 years ago and the destructive dam operator (in this case BPA and EPA of Obama administration) is able to kill the clean power future.

              Just crazy.  As anti-science as the creationists.

      •  Too much power can be a problem (0+ / 0-)

        > 1. Technology.  The current "problem" is the
        > wind farms are generating TOO MUCH USABLE
        >  POWER.  Competing with entrenched
        > unsustainable power providers. In this
        > case, hydro power.

        I take it you have never worked at a real electric generation facility, much less a grid control center.  Electricity generation must always be in essentially exact balance with demand [1].  Having too much power is a serious problem.  Having the wrong type of power (not enough regulating capability on-line, not enough spinning reserve on-line, not enough dependable reserve on line) can lead to gird collapse and total disaster.  

        Generating units are currently dispatched by independent third-party entities that use security-constrained cost minimization algorithms that attempt to solve the least-cost problem (and it is an approximate solution) while always maintaining security (a grid that can withstand multiple failures without collapsing).  While the economics and contracts involved in wind power are still being worked out (and certainly aren't perfect) no one in the "Obama Administration" is deliberately shutting down wind turbines that are on the constrained dispatch schedule.

        sPh

        [1] There are certain special cases such as pumped hydro and a modest amount of managed demand.  And with luck electric car charging will be added to the overnight managed demand over the next 10 years.  But those are small potatoes compared to the total grid.

  •  Completely ridiculous hyperbole. n/t (8+ / 0-)

    Originally Posted by TTR_loves_Mittens: I've always thought of FB as "classy." :/ Much classier then Spike... Well, not CLASSY classy, more like a "hold your pinky out when you're masturbating" kind of classy :/

    by Dom9000 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 03:07:21 PM PDT

    •  Fact is BPA is shutting down wind farms. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      petral, Cliss

      Shutting them down for being too successful, too competitive with entrenched and less sustainable hydropower.

      There is no hyperbole. As the linked article notes, the wind power generators are going to sue and will likely win the case.

      •  "Shutting them down" (8+ / 0-)

        temporarily until its no longer necessary.

        "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau -6.38, -4.15

        by James Allen on Wed May 18, 2011 at 03:29:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Save your keyboard (10+ / 0-)

          this is like arguing with someone who thinks his microwave oven is sending signals to his brain to by shite at Wal-Mart.

          The environmental movement is set back years by this kind of bullshite.  Thank you for your efforts.

          " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

          by gchaucer2 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 03:36:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Does a diary like this deserve pastry in (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sphealey

            the tip jar? I'm sooo tempted but am exercising some restraint. What do you think, gc? Seems like the diarist's main goal is to get in a dig at Obama, unfounded as it is.

            Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

            by JTinDC on Wed May 18, 2011 at 03:50:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Save you donut (0+ / 0-)

              The diary is just misinformed crap.  Not exactly ill-intended; rather stupid.  The diarist can dig at Obama but fails to provide any foundation for the attack.

              " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

              by gchaucer2 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 03:55:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm not sure it is not ill-intended. (0+ / 0-)

                It hits me as yet another in a endless string of diaries from follks who already don't like Obama and look for any and every little thing to try and wrap it around his neck and choke him with it.

                Thankfully a lot of people here actually do read, they do their own research and they call out the bullshit. This "Obama is abandoning green energy" notion is pure bullshit. I do hope readers of this crap diary clearly understand that.

                Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

                by JTinDC on Wed May 18, 2011 at 04:09:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  the article also says (8+ / 0-)

    that they have to run the water or risk ruining the equipment at the dam and damaging the grid. Seems pretty reasonable to me.

  •  Gee (7+ / 0-)

    This is a ridiculous diary.  

    The concept is easy- there is more runoff than usual, so they have to make a choice about which electrical system to ease back on so they don't overrun the grid.

    I don't know if you live here, but we get 90% of our energy from hydroelectric.  

    We're going to shut down our last coal fired plant in the state, so if I were the author of this diary, I'd probably try to consider what I'm actually writing about, and then think about if I know enough to have a conversation about it.

    ">Reality Bias is back!

    by otto on Wed May 18, 2011 at 03:50:35 PM PDT

  •  I agree that wind is better than hydro, but (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen, Geek of all trades, njr

    But I will start trying to close hydro plants the day the last coal plant on the planet shuts down for good and not before. Until then I will take hydro over coal (or nuclear). Nothing is without cost.

    I support torturous regimes! Also, I kick puppies.

    by eataTREE on Wed May 18, 2011 at 04:09:44 PM PDT

  •  This is reminding me of the folks in the San (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    second gen

    Joaquin valley running around right now screaming about how all the huge snowpack is being wasted and going out to the ocean. Turn on the pumps!! Turn on the pumps!!

    ahhhhh... one problem people - the pumps are turned off because YOU HAVE NOWHERE TO STORE THE WATER!

    Wolverines and Badgers and Buckeyes - Oh My! Be Afraid Kochroaches. Be very afraid.

    by mrsgoo on Wed May 18, 2011 at 04:24:58 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for the diary Buzz. (0+ / 0-)

    I heard the same thing on the radio the other day: BPA is going to shut down the wind farms because there's "too much electricity being generated".  

    I had to slow down the car when hearing this, because PGE still has the wherewithall to give my mom her electricity shutoff notice for non-payment.  It was over $423.00.

    I called PGE and asked them about their surplus electricity.  Asked the CSR, "so why can't you reduce the rates then, since you have so much to go around.  How about giving my mom a break?"

    Silence, for a good 20 seconds.  I knew I made my point, because she couldn't come up with anything to say.

    •  Actually it could be 2 things. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sphealey

      Either the CSR is some minimum wage flunky who only reads of a set number of scripts to deal with generic complaints, and had no idea what you were talking about, or else that they simply didn't want the hassle of explaining to you the limits of the current US infrastructure to ameliorate your ignorance.

  •  It's because of the grid. (4+ / 0-)

    They can't move all the power they're generating.

    Says more about our infrastructure than Obama.

    Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

    by Bush Bites on Wed May 18, 2011 at 04:48:56 PM PDT

  •  Wind and Hydro are very complementary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sphealey

    Hydro is great for baseload, immediately dispatchable power.  Wind is great for maintaining reservoir levels when the wind is blowing.  Reservoirs are essentially the grid energy storage that wind needs.

  •  This is pure economics (0+ / 0-)

    With high reservoir levels, they can either run the hydro generators at full capacity or run them at a lower capacity and needlessly send water over the spillway.  The second doesn't make any sense.  It also just makes sense to shut down and reduce wear and tear on the wind turbines temporarily while they aren't needed to meet the system load.

    •  Also (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jam

      The second article mentions that environmental laws might prohibit sending water over the spillway because air mixes into the water.  If there is no other path for the water to take, then it has to run through the turbines.

  •  What a jerk (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sphealey, njr
    It is clear by the wind power success that we can eliminate dams completely
    Not this spring,jerk.  The problem is what to do with the water right now.  La Nina gave us a huge snowpack.  The water in the Columbia system must either go through the turbines or over the spillways for the next coupl'a months.  over the spillways means that it picks up saturated gases, especially nitrogen (78% of the air) which kills fish.  Or through the turbines which generates electricity.  The electrical grid can only handle the electricity that is being consumed.  If the hydro turbines produce what's needed, then there is no place to put the wind farm power.

    Is it clear now?  If not, we'll try to make it simpler for you with shorter words.

    Long term, yes, changes must be made.  Right now, we've got to handle the water.  That means no work for the wind farms this spring.  And, windfarms are not benign.  They look terrible and kill birds.  The scenic magnificance of the Columbia River Gorge is one of our country's treasures.  Wind farms look like shit.

  •  BPA graphs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sphealey

    Here is BPA's actual production. Some important things to note:

    1/ The red line is load. The blue line WAAAYYYY up above the red line is production from hydro. They are producing twice the amount of power needed for their balancing area and exporting a good 4000-7000 MW out of their area. Pretty good grid, if you ask me. Maybe not enough but still pretty robust.

    2/ The green line is wind. Note that the blue line goes down when the green line goes up.

    3/ The brown line pinned to the bottom with barely a blip on it? That's thermal. That would be your CO2 producing technologies like coal.

    4/ It is clear that wind is not able to displace hydro entirely.

    Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

    by jam on Thu May 19, 2011 at 02:07:44 PM PDT

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