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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Media News Releases Archives July-September 2004

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News Release: July 23, 2004 Print this page
Docket Number: P-2114-117

Generation Increase Approved for Western Hydro Project, Enhanced Fish Passage

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today cleared the way for the Priest Rapids Hydroelectric Project on the Columbia River in Washington to increase the installed capacity of its Wanapum development by some 15 percent, from 900 megawatts (MW) to 1038 MW.

The increase in generation will occur when the licensee of the project, Public Utility District No. 2 of Grant County, begins operating and testing a new advanced turbine unit that will increase efficiency, increase power output, and include design features to improve fish passage through the units. This process will be completed over eight years.

"I am pleased that PUD No. 2 of Grant County was able to use new technology to both increase capacity and protect the fish. We need more clean power in the country, while we conserve our valuable natural resources. This is a win-win for everyone," commented Pat Wood, III, Chairman of the FERC.

Grant County requested Commission approval to replace 10 existing turbines, which were at the end of their useful life, with new advanced turbine units developed by the Department of Energy to provide power benefits and to improve survival of downstream migrating juvenile salmon. The installation and operation of these turbines represent the first commercial application of this technology.

Today’s action was accomplished in coordination with the Washington Department of Ecology, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission.


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