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Celebrate the Holidays Thursday, December 21 with an Added Salute to Hydropower Appreciation Day

Celebrate the Holidays Thursday, December 21 with an Added Salute to Hydropower Appreciation Day

by Mason PUD 3 on

December 19, 2017

December 21 is the shortest day of the year. Reliable energy is important in keeping the lights on, and your home cozy. Combining clean hydropower with electricity from wind, and nuclear power means 98 percent of Mason County's power is carbon free energy.

2017-12-21---hydro-appreciation.jpg(SHELTON, WA) – December 21 is being celebrated at Mason PUD 3 as “Hydropower Appreciation Day.” PUD 3 calls on local residents to celebrate and recognize the importance of maintaining hydroelectricity as a major source of power for Mason County and the Pacific Northwest.

PUD 3 gets about 80 percent of its electricity from federal hydroelectric dams in the Columbia River Basin. Hydroelectricity is the Pacific Northwest’s premier clean, renewable, and reliable resource, providing nearly 60 percent of the region’s electricity and 90 percent of its renewable energy.

Combining clean hydropower with electricity from wind, and nuclear power means 98 percent of Mason County's power is carbon free energy.

Mason PUD 3 supports continuing efforts to balance the benefit of hydropower with the responsibility of protecting, improving and sustaining fish and wildlife that are dependent on the Columbia River ecosystem.

Quick Facts on Why Hydropower Should Be Celebrated:

  • Dams in the Columbia River Basin produce more electricity than any other North American river and account for 40 percent of all U-S hydropower.

  • Hydropower output can be quickly used as an excellent back-up for intermittent wind or solar energy.

  • High technology firms have located facilities in the Pacific Northwest because of the availability of reliable, clean hydropower, creating jobs and boosting local economies;

  • Traditional industries and businesses, representing hundreds of thousands of jobs, continue to rely on low-cost hydro to stay in business and prosper;

  • Barging of 42 million tons of cargo, valued at over $20 billion, on the “marine highway” created by Columbia and Snake River dams is the most environmentally friendly way to move cargo. It keeps 700,000 trucks off the region’s highways every year.

  • The annual net earned income from Pacific Northwest agriculture exceeds $8 billion. The region’s economy is greatly enhanced by 7.8 million acres of irrigated agricultural land that without hydropower and reservoirs, would otherwise be too dry to farm successfully.

  • A federal reservoir storage plan helps avert flood danger in the Columbia River Basin;

  • The hydropower system and its public power customers fund an extensive fish and wildlife program in the Columbia River Basin. There are more fish in the Columbia River than at any time since the first the first dam was built on the lower river at Bonneville in 1938. In 2015, over 2.3 million adult salmon passed Bonneville Dam, the second-strongest return since counts began in 1938. Young salmon make the downstream trip through eight federal dams on an average rate of 97 percent survival at each facility.

Mason PUD 3 is a member of Northwest River Partners, an alliance of farmers, utilities, ports and businesses that promote the economic and environmental benefits of the Columbia and Snake rivers; fish and wildlife policies and programs based on sound science; and clean, renewable, reliable hydropower.

Hydropower Appreciation Day is celebrated each year by PUD 3 on the third Thursday of December.