Snake River dams’ power easily replaced

A recent letter regarding the Snake River dams being vital to state’s clean energy goals, it stated concern about windless days during periods of high heat and not providing for the region’s power needs if the lower Snake River dams were breached. I feel it is important to add additional considerations.

On those windless days the sun was shining. The draft report being finalized for Sen. Patty Murray and Gov. Jay Inslee specifies that energy from the lower Snake River dams “could be replaced by a clean energy portfolio that would rely on increased solar and wind generation, energy storage, energy efficiency, and demand response.”

In fact, the Nez Perce Tribe has installed 530 megawatts of solar generation and is seeking to develop additional solar installations with other tribes to total 5,311 megawatts of generation ( This would exceed the 3,000 megawatts the dams can generate. Idaho’s first Tesla battery storage system was also installed with the reservation’s solar panels to sustain power and meet peak needs.

The Nez Perce have made a realistic assessment of what needs to be done to save salmon, orca, and other species by replacing these dams and they have undertaken the task. It would be discerning and beneficial for other stakeholders to do so as well.

Donald J. Miller


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