Manager’s Message – September 2023

Dear Co-op Members:

Lane Electric contracts with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) to secure the lowest cost, most reliable power for our member-owners. As a result, we’re contractually obligated to the fuel mix that BPA provides from the federal system to power our members. The fuel mix notes how the electricity was generated before Lane Electric delivers it to your home.

In 2022, more than 85% of the cooperative’s power was generated by clean and reliable sources, largely stemming from hydropower. The abundance of hydro in Oregon ensures affordable power for those in our region and helps us avoid the rolling blackouts and brownouts that have affected other parts of the United States.

How has hydro done that? Unlike wind and solar generation, hydroelectric generation can be adjusted at will to serve variable system loads, such as the temperature spikes and dips that are increasingly affecting both summer and winter.

The volume of hydro generation at low costs also makes it an affordable, clean option, which can be complemented with wind and solar generation. We look forward to a time when battery storage can make these resources a more stable part of the power mix. For now, hydro provides us with the carbon-free energy we need to power rural Lane County when the wind isn’t blowing, and the sun isn’t shining.

Debi Wilson