Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

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pasayten
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Re: Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

Post by pasayten »

Yep... Their math is highly questionable... Post is intended to be a satirical reminder of the biased links (both sides) that always show up on threads... :-)
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Re: Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

Post by mister_coffee »

pasayten wrote: Sun Oct 23, 2022 12:41 pm The Lower Snake River Dams power communities across Washington. If they’re breached, we’ll lose 25 percent of our electricity – enough to power 15 cities the size of Seattle. Join us to help save our dams.
I don't know how they figure that.

The specific proposals I have heard involved only removing the Ice Harbor and Lower Monument dams. These are both small run-of-the river dams with very little storage capacity and modest power production capacity (693MW peak for Ice Harbor and 932MW peak for Lower Monument). That means both together produce a grand total of 1625MW -- for comparison purposes Chief Joseph dam produces about 2600MW and Rocky Reach dam about 1300MW.

Even if you include the next two dams, Little Goose (932MW) and Lower Granite (810MW) you don't get much more than 3300MW. Neither of those dams has very much storage capacity either.

Note those were peak power production figures -- average figures are likely far less.

Seattle consumes about 9,000,000 megawatt hours annually. If you assume 8760 hours in a year that is an average consumption of 1027MW. So there is no way that the proposal to remove those two dams (or even all four) will cause the loss of enough power to power 15 cities the size of Seattle.

I don't know if that is intended to be deliberately misleading or is just based on a poor understanding of math. Doesn't matter, it is just plain wrong.
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Re: Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

Post by pasayten »

Some of the "Pro Removal" links have been biased... Let's here some bias from the other side... :-)

Voices for Cooperative Power
Sponsored · Paid for by Voices for Cooperative Power ·
The Lower Snake River Dams power communities across Washington. If they’re breached, we’ll lose 25 percent of our electricity – enough to power 15 cities the size of Seattle. Join us to help save our dams.
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Re: Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

Post by Rideback »

The link is not from hacks or journalists but instead their proposal how to mitigate any actions and the totality of the problems.
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Re: Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

Post by Gonzo'57 »

No, I don't usually read links or posted articles simply because those that post them typically only post those that reinforce their point of view. I would rather read others' opinions and thoughts, not regurgitated, biased talking points offered up by paid, hack journalists.
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Re: Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

Post by dorankj »

You do understand the concept that people can read the same thing and reach a different conclusion, don’t you?
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Re: Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

Post by Rideback »

Ah Gonzo, looks you still don't read links or articles.
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Re: Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

Post by Gonzo'57 »

Political grandstanding by Inslee and Murray before the mid-terms. Makes for a nice BIG headline to appeal to the tower dwelling, uninformed inhabitants in Seattle. Both Inslee and Murray know the issue has been studied to death and the economics of removing the dams is not feasible. But, it does make for a great bit of vote pandering. Funny thing is, after the big headline that was designed to stir up environmentalists and make them proclaim "I'm voting for Patty", there was a very small headline, article, the next week buried in the paper that was guaranteed to escape notice sating what we all knew all along, "Inslee and Murray say that dam removal is not feasible at this time". Great political theater.
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Re: Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

Post by mister_coffee »

All of the information needed to know that viability of salmon runs was going to be a problem has been available my entire life.

Nobody thought it was important enough to do anything about in the 1960s and 1970s. So we are stuck with it now. If you want to "blame" someone, I recommend you talk to the people who made those poor decisions in the 1960s and 1970s. Now we are at the point where there are no good options.

Note also that there was never an open and democratic discussion about the decisions we made by default back then.

Let's also remember that hundreds of thousands of people had livelihoods that depended on salmon runs. Those livelihoods are gone now. So it isn't strictly speaking a "jobs" versus "environment" discussion.

I really think we need to get beyond kicking the can down the street on problems like this.
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Re: Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

Post by pasayten »

There will always be an amount of "breakages" that occur as civilization grows and time passes... Some are calculated and some are not known until after the fact... It seems the media and society/government never considers all of them in an overall approach and as a "cost" of our current civilization/growth but tends to focus on many bizzare "hot item issues", many of which are not that significant in the grand scheme of things.
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Re: Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

Post by mister_coffee »

Well Ray, fixing stuff you've broken is almost always harder and more expensive than not breaking it in the first place. I can't see why the salmon issue would be any different.

As for people complaining about wind turbines and the view, yes they will complain. They'd complain more if there was a nuclear power plant or fracking wells there. They'd complain a lot more if the climate was boiled and there was no more snow and far less water. Life is about tough choices sometimes.

Honestly if all of our parking lots were covered with solar panels I think it would improve the place.
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Re: Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

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There are also other Snake River Dam tidbits...

Remove dams to improve salmon stocks for protected Puget Sound Orca's...
https://crosscut.com/2018/08/puget-soun ... sure-grows

What about the protected sea lions eating the protected whales food... The protected salmon?
So one protected species can be killed to protect another protected species???
https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/feature- ... ected-fish

In addition... How much are we now paying for salmon mitigation???

In Fiscal Year 2020, Bonneville reported total fish and wildlife costs of approximately $611.5 million, as follows:
238.1 million in direct (expense) costs for the direct-funded portion of the fish and wildlife program, which pays for projects such as habitat improvements, research, and some fish hatchery costs
$89.6 million in reimbursements to the federal Treasury for expenditures of Congressionally appropriated funds by the Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
$100.3 million for the fixed cost of debt service (interest, amortization, and depreciation) for capital investments for facilities
$33.4 million in forgone hydropower sales revenue
$150 million in power purchases to replace power that could not be generated because the water was spilled for fish passage
https://www.nwcouncil.org/news/2021/03/ ... ife-costs/

Overall, the states predict a total 2020 return to the mouth of the Columbia river of about 1.2 million fish, a slight increase from 940,000 fish in 2019. The bright spot in 2020, the sockeye forecast, is for about 246,300 fish, compared to about 63,222 last year. The 2020 forecast includes about 1,300 Snake River hatchery sockeye (plus 114 natural-origin fish), an ESA-listed endangered species, which is about twice the 10-year average. Wild steelhead returns are expected to be very low in both the Columbia and Snake rivers.
https://www.nwcouncil.org/news/2020-col ... e%2C%20764).

$611 million / 1.2 million fish... We are paying $510 per fish????????? Insane...
Maybe we should chop up the sea lions and feed then to the orca's?

What a fubar...
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Re: Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

Post by Jingles »

Well personally I hope before we get to having solar panels at all parking spaces and converting agriculture farms into wind farms we have a life on earth ending event. Think Yellowstone Cauldera
As far as local (Methow Valley) solar and wind farms go we already have some folks pissing and moaning about where houses are built because they are "offensive to the view" can you imagine the "Firestorm of complaints" that would arise at installing the large wind generators?

And alternative location for wind farms would be on the National Forest seeing as the Forest Service can't manage them now, replace the standing burnt match sticks with towers topped with generators
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Re: Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

Post by mister_coffee »

One way to think about renewables is to think about drawing power from a geographic area. Now the smaller the area is, the more likely the wind isn't blowing or the sun isn't shining in the whole area. As the area gets larger the probability that the sun isn't shining *somewhere* and the wind isn't blowing *somewhere* go down. So in theory for estimation purposes you can get as much power availability as you like with renewables as long as you are drawing from a large enough area. If you think about it that is exactly what a power grid is for.

Storage fits into this nicely, as adding storage to the system effectively makes the area you need to get a given level of power availability smaller.

The average time between regulatory approval and when a solar or wind plant starts selling electricity is 12 months. You can't pour the concrete for any other electricity source in that time. Since all power generation is funded with borrowed money this fact alone makes solar and wind more competitive, as the longer you have to wait before making money to pay back the loans, the higher interest rates you will be charged.

Wind, solar, and batteries all are mass produced. Costs are rapidly dropping as we learn more. Production can be scaled up, and is being scaled up. You do not have equivalent economies of scale with any other electricity source.

EVs interestingly fit nicely with intermittent sources like wind and solar, as most personal vehicles are parked over 90 percent of the time and you could easily configure the charging infrastructure to only charge them when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing.

If you do the math, assuming current capacity factors of about 0.24, if you covered all parking spaces in the United States with solar panels you would generate about three times the current generation capacity of the entire country.

If you do the math, if you made all farms in the United States wind farms, and again assumed the current capacity factors for wind of about 0.34, you would generate about twenty times the current generation capacity of the entire country. Note we can still grow food and have wind turbines on the same land.

I leave it as an exercise to the reader how much wind energy we can get from the land that we grow cows on. Or from offshore wind sources.

So yes, we will be building out a lot of power generation infrastructure in the coming decades. That's fine. It is replacing a lot of stuff that is well past end of life and will be replacing it with stuff that is much less expensive. I don't understand how anybody could complain about it.

Fun graphs:

https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/leve ... -of-energy
https://www.lazard.com/perspective/leve ... -hydrogen/

Note in the above the numbers run out in 2019. Current PV costs are around sixty percent of the listed figures.
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Re: Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

Post by Jingles »

Rideback wrote: Thu Oct 13, 2022 4:14 pm Well, Jingles since the EV's are set up so that you can charge them at home, you'll be able to charge both your home and your EV as well as an Ebike. Also, since there are many good options now for installing solar and wind systems, more and more people will choose to be off the grid, cutting down demand for power.
No I am quite aware that EV's are/will be able to be charged at home, however if there isn't enough electricity to heat your home how are you going to charge your EV? Run your generator? Seems to me that is cutting off your nose to spite your face defeating the purpose of your going to an EV. Also add in the number of tourist that invade the valley that could end up being "stranded" because they can't charge their EV's or do they take priority over resident Joe Blow heating his house or running his appliances? IMO breaching the dams is a loose/loose situation at least until a reliable sustainable alternative is in place and functioning

Another thing to consider is if wind and solar will be the "fix all for all" is every home going to have their own wind and solar generating capabilities or will there be a wind and solar farm? If the latter where? Top of Stud horse Mtn, Patterson Mtn? Rhythum and blues field for the solar arrays
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Re: Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

Post by Rideback »

The Calif example was a wrong headed post and is easily fact checked https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/fac ... 320286001/

Perhaps people are expecting things to be created overnight. While innovation is happening in the alternative fuel and storage sectors at a record pace there is always the reality of real world communities getting installations completed.

The battery storage of units like the PowerWall are new to the valley, but offer a new array of opportunities to make homes perform for days without the direct input of sunlight. My neighbors charge their EVs using the grid now, without solar installation. There are many ways to impact the overall community reliance on the grid.

The point is, the status quo isn't going to be good either for the planet or this community. Looking at Florida, it was notable that the one solar community survived the hurricane intact because it planned for hurricanes. In Calif the wildfire caused outages are survived better in communities that have gone with microgrids or individual alternative energy sources. With the new Fed'l plans in place to encourage alternative energy we're already seeing huge new manufacturing plants rise up, innovation is at its highest level and across the country.

Still, implementing all this so that opportunities and public awareness meet takes time. Fortunately, like David points out the whole restructuring of dams isn't going to happen for probably a decade. Meanwhile, the lights aren't going to go out or even flicker but there will be reliable opportunities that arrive to counter the old ways of doing business.
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Re: Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

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Rideback wrote: Thu Oct 13, 2022 7:50 pm Wow, where in the world did you get the idea that solar was not sustainable and the growing number of homes in the valley as well as businesses that are going solar is growing by the day?
The Valley solar's have not yet demonstrated a significant impact on our peak demand needs... and are certainly not charging cars... :-)

Think about winter when the sun angles are lowest and electric car demands will be greatest (heat)...

And my post qualified it's message with the current lack of efficient storage issues... not insurmountable... but will take time to catch up with the needs.

Valley growth and electrical energy demands are already significantly starting to exceed our OCEC coop BPA Tier 1 (hydro) energy allocation and we are needing more Tier 2 power... Bought on the open market and it's not "green"... Electric cars (and their batteries) currently do have a carbon footprint... Hopefully time and technology will help solve this mess, but will take time in years... Until then, keeping as much hydro as possible is a good idea.

and then the hilarious recent headline "Californians asked to not charge electric cars — days after gas ban announcement"
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Re: Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

Post by mister_coffee »

It is well understood by engineers what the relative capacity factor of solar and wind power are and it is straightforward to put enough additional power capacity in the system to compensate for that. The fact that both wind and solar are very inexpensive, quick to construct, and getting cheaper all the time makes that easier still.

Note that according to NREL, hydroelectric power has a capacity factor of about 37% while wind has a capacity factor of 34%. Taller wind turbines have higher capacity factors, and the newest GE Haliade wind turbines will have capacity factors of 60% or more, which is better than state of the art combined cycle natural gas generators.

Note that you can also easily predict how hard (or not) the wind is going to blow 24 hours from now, or how much sunlight you will have 24 hours from now. However, if your turbine in the hydro plant fails you aren't likely to get that warning. And since the moving parts in a solar panel are photons and electrons they won't break.

PV solar is on a remarkable cost curve, with costs dropping roughly 80 percent per decade. As of right now without subsidies PV solar is competitive with nuclear, much cheaper than coal, and somewhat more expensive than natural gas. But ten years from now it will be cheaper than any of them. Chances are PV solar will be the cheapest form of electricity that has ever existed in another few years, and it is unlikely any foreseeable generation technology is going to surpass it for a very long time.

Batteries are on a similar cost curve to PV solar. Again because they have no parts that clank and because their manufacture is very amenable to automation.

I don't think any proposals about removing any dam will happen for ten years or more. Removing the Elwha dam took two decades of planning. So we need to be talking about what generation technology (and what costs) will be around twenty years from now, not what is available today.

It is safe to bet that in twenty years Solar PV generation costs per watt will be approximately 5 percent of what they are today, and battery storage costs per watt will also be approximately 5 percent of present-day costs.
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Re: Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

Post by Rideback »

Wow, where in the world did you get the idea that solar was not sustainable and the growing number of homes in the valley as well as businesses that are going solar is growing by the day?

https://e360.yale.edu/features/three-my ... d-debunked
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Re: Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

Post by pasayten »

Solar and wind do produce power, but are not sustainable and many times production is not at the needed moment to satisfy current demand. Hydro power is sustainable and easily adjusted to meet demand. We need improvements in storage technology (like batteries) to make "green" solar and wind power really a viable solution. And solar in the Methow Valley is really a questionable option for year round... Poor sun angles... We are too far north... :-)
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