This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

August 04, 2004

Hydropower Facility to Install Fish-Friendly Turbines

The National Hydropower Association (NHA) announced on July 26th that a utility in Washington State plans to install a fish-friendly turbine at a hydropower project on the Columbia River. The new turbine technology, developed with the support of DOE and the hydropower industry, is designed to increase the survival rate of migrating juvenile salmon that pass through the turbine. According to the NHA, the Grant County Public Utility District (PUD) will install one turbine later this year at the Wanapum Dam, which is part of the Priest Rapids Project. Field testing will start in early 2005, and if successful, the remaining nine turbines at the dam will also be upgraded to the new design. According to NHA, the new turbines will also boost the power production at the dam by about 15 percent. See the NHA press release.

While the Grant County PUD is helping fish pass through its turbines, a utility in Oregon is preparing to help fish migrate around its dams. The Pelton Round Butte project produces 465 megawatts of power at three dams located along a 20-mile stretch of the Deschutes River, a tributary of the Columbia. The project is owned by Portland General Electric and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs, which worked together with 22 organizations and government agencies to reach an agreement as part of the relicensing of the hydropower facility. To help the fish migrate, they'll be screened from the intake of the top-most dam and trucked downstream of the dams. Interior Secretary Gale Norton hailed the agreement. See the press releases from PGE and the U.S. Department of Interior.