Renewable Energy

2019 Benton REA Fuel Mix Pie Chart: 72.99% Hydropower, 16.96% Unspecified, 10.05% Nuclear

2019 Benton REA Fuel Mix Report

How Benton REA members’ electricity is generated, as reported in the Washington State Department of Commerce 2019 Electric Utility Fuel Mix Disclosure Report 72.99% Hydropower 16.96% Unspecified 10.05% Nuclear About the Washington State Electric Utilities Fuel Mix The objective of the fuel mix disclosure is to inform customers and policymakers about the characteristics of the…

The image has three photos, on the left is dry, cracked earth, the middle is irrigated green crops, on the right is an image of the ocean. The text says "Carbon free hydropower is critical in our fight against climate change."

Idaho Congressman Seeks Support for Plan to Breach the Snake River Hydropower Dams

U.S. Representative Mike Simpson of Idaho wants to get the Columbia and Snake River dams out of seemingly endless court battles. Simpson has a plan to breach the lower Snake River dams while compensating electricity, river transportation and irrigation stakeholders through a infrastructure funding bill that could hit President Joe Biden’s desk this year. This…

Touchstone_Energy_Roofs_000

10 Steps to Take Before Installing Solar

As prices decline and technology improves, installing a residential solar system—also called a photo-voltaic system—makes sense for some. However, it’s important to know the facts before committing to a purchase. Consider these points as you explore whether solar is right for you. 1. MAKE YOUR HOME MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT BEFORE BUYING A SOLAR SYSTEM Adding…

On August 31, 2020, an Ellensburg Solar technician installed solar panels on the roof of a YCH building in Sunnyside. PHOTO COURTESY OF YCH

YCH Installs Largest Solar Array in State

In August, Yakima Chief Hops, a 100% farmer-owned hop supplier for the brewing industry and a Benton REA member, announced its latest solar panel installation. YCH now has 3,706 solar panels, the largest rooftop solar array in Washington state. YCH has offices located across the globe, but the company’s headquarters are based in Yakima, which…

an illustration of three electrical transmission towers

Transmission: From Dam to Doorstep

Once the force of a flowing river is turned into electricity at hydroelectric dams, it still has a long way to go before reaching your house, business or school. This energy now must flow along transmission lines, sometimes hundreds of miles from its source. When electricity first leaves a dam, it is high voltage, meaning…

Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River

Final Environmental Impact Statement Affirms Lower Snake River Dams Should Remain

More than 56,000 comments were submitted to the federal agencies drafting the Columbia River System Operations Environmental Impact Statement (CRSO EIS). At least 173 of those were from Benton REA members who responded to our call to action in April. The final EIS was released on July 31 by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers,…

wind turbines along the Columbia River gorge

Integrating Other Renewables: The Perfect Partner

When the sun sets and the wind fades, the river rolls on The perpetual nature of hydropower makes it the perfect companion for the Northwest’s newest renewable energy sources, primarily wind and solar, which now total more than 8,000 megawatts. Just like hydropower, new renewables benefit the region in many ways—from creating jobs to keeping…

A windsurfer on the Columbia River

Reservoirs: The Region’s Storage Battery

Just like animals in times of abundance gather and store food for the leaner months, hydropower operators store water during wet months in preparation for drier conditions. Though squirrels may opt for underground storage, hydropower operators store water behind hydroelectric dams in large pools called reservoirs. Not all dams have reservoirs. But the hydropower system…

A woman reaches down to scoop fresh mountain water with her hands

Water Cycle: The Power Behind Hydropower

Hydropower is the most abundant energy source in the Northwest. It’s also reliable and renewable, thanks to the benefits and predictability of our planet’s water cycle. The water cycle, also called the hydrological cycle, is the path water takes as it changes from solid to liquid to gas and back again, recycling it over and…

75.96% Hydropower, 14.58% Unspecified, 9.45% Nuclear, 0.01% Natural Gas

2018 Benton REA Fuel Mix Report

How your electricity is generated, as reported in the Washington State Department of Commerce 2018 Electric Utility Fuel Mix Disclosure Report In 2018, Benton REA members received their electricity from the following generation sources: 75.96% Hydropower, 14.58% Unspecified, 9.45% Nuclear and 0.01% Natural Gas. This is the most recent data available for Benton REA’s fuel…