This month in the Pacific Northwest, when runoff from a heavy snowpack coincided with extremely windy conditions, the federal Bonneville Power Administration system suddenly had an abundance of alternative energy feeding its system. BPA chose to limit wind-driven power in favor of hydroelectrity during peak water and wind events. The operational policy is likely to chill construction of new wind farms in the Pacific Northwest, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
“This is a damaging precedent,” said Rob Gramlich, senior vice president for public policy for AWEA during a May 23 press conference. “There is a better way.”