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NW Fishletter #386, Oct. 2, 2018
 Power Council Releases Draft Annual Report to Congress
A draft report from the Northwest Power and Conservation Council to Congress describes Fiscal Year 2018 as "turbulent."
The Council on Sept. 12 approved the draft, which is out for public review through Dec. 14. The annual report is required under the Northwest Power Act.
"Change continues to rock the West Coast and Northwest energy markets as the transition continues away from coal-fired power plants to a broader mix of hydropower, wind, and solar, augmented by utility investments in energy efficiency, demand response, new and more efficient natural gas-fired plants, and experiments in energy storage to offset the intermittent output of sun and wind," the report begins.
The summary spells out issues related to transmission systems, sharing of generating resources, and the abundance of inexpensive natural gas.
It notes that BPA Administrator Elliott Mainzer "told the Northwest Power and Conservation Council in March and again in June 2018 that as the result of waves of inexpensive renewable energy flooding the marketplace the federal power marketing agency's electricity is not priced competitively."
Despite Bonneville's long-term contracts through 2028, Mainzer has instructed managers throughout the agency to look for places to cut costs, the report continues. It also describes cost-cutting efforts already made by the Council.
The 39-page document includes a detailed look at both the energy and fish and wildlife issues faced by the Council during the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30.
A section on power discusses the success of energy efficiencies, advancement of renewable power, digital currency mining, energy-saving by cannabis growers, examinations of solar power and energy storage, and the Council's work to map the Northwest's energy supply.
The fish and wildlife portion of the report discusses the Council's amendment process for a new fish and wildlife program; issues such as sea lions, northern Pike and invasive mussels; and a settlement with Idaho over the wildlife impacts from Albeni Falls Dam.
Comments, to be considered before a final report is sent to Congress in January 2019, should be submitted to email@example.com, with "Draft 2018 Annual Report in the subject line; or mailed to Mark Walker, director of public affairs, NPCC, 851 S. W. Sixth Ave., Suite 1100, Portland, OR. 97204. -K.C. Mehaffey
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