Tuesday, October 4, 2022
HomeOpinionRenewable energy: Let’s think irrigation and power

Renewable energy: Let’s think irrigation and power




Re: “Goldendale energy project can help meet state’s clean-energy needs” [Sept. 4, Opinion]:

While I applaud the editorial support of the Goldendale renewable pumped storage hydropower project, I wonder if we should instead be using a stored water reservoir that already exists. Banks Lake pumped into by the Grand Coulee presents a significant opportunity for power generation as it descends into the lower Columbia Basin for irrigation.

But what might be more important than clean-power generation to our future is replacing the unavoidable loss of irrigated farmland. Assuming the predicted water flows of the Columbia will sustain it, should the conversation about spending billions of dollars to move water instead be how do we complete the rest of the planned Columbia reclamation? This would irrigate half a million acres of what is currently dry farmland and perhaps serve double duty to generate power.

Eric Werttemberger, Everett

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