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More Join in the Celebration of December 15 as Hydropower Appreciation Day

More Join in the Celebration of December 15 as Hydropower Appreciation Day

by Mason PUD 3 on

December 13, 2016

Wear your "Action Green" this Thursday to celebrate hydropower appreciation day, and the Seahawks 97 percent green "Color Rush" uniforms for their home game against the Los Angeles Rams.

2016-12-13---mason-county-hydro-day-web.jpg(SHELTON, WA) – Mason County Commissioners today proclaimed December 15 as “Hydropower Appreciation Day.” The commissioners are calling 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.

In their proclamation, commissioners noted that electricity customers of Mason PUD 1 and PUD 3 get about 87 of their electricity from federal hydroelectric dams in the Columbia River Basin. In the declaration, it was stated that 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.

Commissioners for PUD 1 and PUD 3 approved similar resolutions to celebrate the region’s hydroelectric power system.

Combining clean hydropower with electricity from nuclear power means 97 percent of Mason County's power is carbon free energy.

The two PUDs support 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.

Mason PUD 1 and PUD 3 are members 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.

Quick Facts on Why Hydropower Should Be Celebrated:

  • Mason County electricity customers get about 87 percent of their 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 Northwest’s electricity and 90 percent of its renewable energy.

  • 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 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.

Protecting Salmon Habitat right here in Mason County: