The US national-hydropower-association (NHA) has released its third annual list of hydro projects that combine environmental stewardship with the fulfilment of electrical needs. The Outstanding Steward-ship of America’s Rivers report lists ten projects which have improved water quality, enhanced habitat, protected endangered species or invested in conservation areas.
‘Protection of the natural environment and productive use of rivers can go hand-in-hand,’ said NHA president Chris Hocker. ‘We must balance the imperative to conserve natural re-sources with the needs of electricity consumers and the economy. These ten projects are a testament to the fact that we can do both.’ Cited in the report is the mid-Columbia river Priest Rapids scheme operated by Grant County Public Utility District, which utilises sophisticated fish ladders, spill deflectors, regulated flows during critical spawning and rearing periods and a hatchery programme for high annual returns.
Pumped storage makes the list for the first time with the Jocassee and Bad Creek projects which are located at the headwaters of the Savannah river and operated by Duke Energy. Here, Duke has put 48,000 acres of mountainous terrain into conservation to preserve the surrounding environment.
Another newcomer is the Mada-waska river in Ontario, where Ontario Power Generation has worked with local government to restore important fisheries and maintain the area as a tourist attraction, while meeting electricity needs and flood control requirements. For an innovative combination of technologies that raise dissolved oxygen levels to meet the needs of downstream fisheries year-round, the Douglas project on the French Broad river in Tennessee, operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority, also makes the list for the first time. Returning to the list are six projects that ‘continue to be outstanding examples of environmental stewardship’. They are: •Avista Corporation’s Cabinet Gorge and Noxon Rapids projects on the Clark Fork river in Montana and Idaho.
•Tennessee Valley Authority’s Norris project on the Clinch and Powell rivers in Tennessee.
•PG&E National Energy Group’s Deer-field river hydro system in Vermont and northwest Massachusetts.
•AmerenUE’s Osage plant on the Osage river in Missouri.
•Nebraska Public Power District and Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District’s Kingsley and Sutherland projects on the Platte river in western and central Nebraska.
•Seattle City Light’s Skagit river project in Washington.