Hydropower Means Clean, Affordable, and Reliable Energy for Members

Hydro is: Clean Power

Lower Granite Dam
Lower Granite Dam

The Pacific Northwest is fortunate to have one of the cleanest power portfolios in the nation, with almost no electricity sourced from fossil fuels. More than 95 percent of Lane Electric’s power comes from carbon-free sources, with the majority from hydroelectric energy provided by Bonneville Power Administration. The remaining portion of our power comes from other conventional and renewable resources.

Hydro is: Affordable Electricity

The economic benefits of hydropower for members are seen in several ways, from the reasonable rates on the electric bills, to the secondary benefits of job creation, new business development, recreation opportunities and increased agricultural production. Since hydropower costs significantly less than most energy sources, Oregonians have lower energy bills than the rest of the country.

Hydro is: Reliable and Flexible

The rivers of the northwest provide a constant supply of energy. Rain and snow feed the water cycle, providing a renewable resource to meet the energy demands of millions while seamlessly integrating other renewables such as wind and solar. Just as the river is always flowing, hydroelectric dams can constantly generate electricity. Hydroelectric generators can respond to increased power demands at any time of the day or night, and in any given weather condition regardless of wind or sunshine.

Hydro is: The Future

The worsening climate crisis has led to dire warnings making it clear that hydropower’s carbon-free attributes are tremendously important to the health of our planet and its people.

Unfortunately, despite its importance, the future of Northwest hydropower is in jeopardy. Certain groups have loudly called for the removal of productive hydropower dams, like the four lower Snake River dams in Eastern Washington, claiming it’s the only way to help salmon. Perhaps the most important thing we can do for salmon is to fight climate change, which poses the single greatest threat to their survival.

Meanwhile, fully 35% of our region’s electric generation is still fossil-fueled, and we are in a race against time to replace it with clean alternatives. Adding to the challenge, we’ll need to add even more clean energy to power electric vehicles and to heat buildings that are eliminating natural gas.

The call to remove productive hydropower dams just doesn’t make sense and serves as a real threat to rural Oregonians.