Wind production exceeds hydro in Pacific Northwest for the first time Tuesday

Wind energy surpassed hydro energy production in the Pacific Northwest for the first time Tuesday morning as a major cold front moved through.

Roughly 85% of electric power load in the region came from wind, according to 3Tier, an energy forecasting software company.

“For those watching, operating, and trading in the region’s energy markets, today marks a milestone,” said Pascal Storck, 3TIER chief operating officer.

The cold front moved into Idaho this afternoon and wind plants on Idaho Power's system produced 519 megawatts for an instant. That is out of a peak capacity of 638 megawatts,said Brad Bowlin, an Idaho Power spokesman.

But wind turbines generated 450 to 500 megawatts of electric energy for most of Tuesday afternoon Bowlin later added.

The wind power represented about a third of Idaho Power's load Tuesday.

Wind produced 519 MW for an

Wind produced 519 MW for an instant. And therein lies the problem. Too unpredictable, too unreliable.

but right on cue

the cold front that created more energy demand provided more energy.

All You Gotta Do Is

Get the wind to blow 50mph all the time. It's pretty simple.

It does

The wind usually is blowing somewhere in the country. As soon as enough wind generators are up and running in diverse areas, and the grid is expanded, then wind power will become more reliable. Just ask T. Boone Pickens (if you can get past the accent).

I don't have an accent.


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The winds of change...

No fish were harmed during the transmission of this message.

Passing Wind

Just think if we could harness Flatulence.



more 'feel' good stuff....

So the Pacific Northwest power production,

which includes all the dams on the Columbia, Snake, etc. was surpassed by wind production? OK Rocky, it's your story, and you can stick to it. Your bias is getting worse....Sunny...

wind will never run out

wind will never run out

Sure it does. It only blows

Sure it does. It only blows enough to turn a turbine just a fraction of a day. And hardly at ALL in the Summer.

Whats important

is that Rocky think this is somehow significant. Even if it is not. The real question is "What does Bullwinkle think about it"?

I'll ask the question Rocky doesn't care about

. . at what (additional) cost to the ratepayers? Do you know that if Idaho Power had a surplus of energy during that time (and they probably did because of the challenge of predicting the speed and duration of the wind storm), they had to dump the power on the open market at a loss to ratepayers? It happened in December 2011 during a cold-front wind storm.

So lets review....

more cold fronts will help fight global warming. Thanks Rock.

A good day

to waste electricity.

HA HA HA what a joker this

HA HA HA what a joker this reporter is !!
The turbines on all the dams turn 24/7/365. I go through Pomeroy,Wa. about 10 times the Spring and Summer and no blades turning on HUNDREDS of brand new wind turbines. Did I mention that the dam turbines are at work 24/7/365? I think for a year it is 5% wind power in the PNW. I'm all for it but PLEASE.


The Rock, (Bullwinkle if I may borrow that ) write, "3Tier, an energy forecasting software company".

So let's look at that:

Is 3Tier a software company?
Or, is 3Tier in the energy forcasting business?
Or are they an energy consulting company?

Or something different and Rock is once again scrwing his readers with misinformation?

you decide:

This is 3Tier,

an Obamunist green pork producer.

Rocky needs one of these green energy solar powered Chia Obama's for his office desk (if his office has a window has a window).

Or just Google "Obama Chia Pet".

Ralfee again an idiot

OK the wind blows like a MO for one day and we exceed hydro during the lowest water / demand time of the year. Can we keep track as to how many days the Turbines sit still?

Rocky may call them "wind turbines"

when in actuality, they are "bird blenders".

If they only could take out starlings like that.


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inner eco freak

Nothing brings out the conservationist in a conservative like wind turbines . Lop off a mountain top, dump oil, acid rain? No prob.But kill some birds or spoil the view with a turbine..they throw their hands in the air and call out to the spirit of John Muir. Ha ha ha. You gotta love it. Hypocrites.

So many skeptics, willing to discount the value of new energy:

gotta wonder why so many people look backward instead of forward.

Folks need to think twice, and stop being so ideologically rigid. Any power produced from wind is power that doesn't have to come from another source - hydropower, coal, nukes, or natural gas plants. Obviously, wind power can't be the only source of generation - we need a diverse portfolio of power generators. The cleanest combination might be wind, solar, and gas turbines. Can't really call hydropower 'clean,' because of its lethal impacts on species like salmon.

Rocky's point, IMO, is that wind reached an important threshold -- surpassing hydropower, which has traditionally been almost a religious icon for power worshipers in the Pacific NW. I think that's significant - culturally, economically, practically.

Another notable point is that during various times of the year, hydro generation for outfits like Idaho Power doesn't amount to much. Often, from October through March for example, electricity has to come from some other generation source.

River, with all due respect, you're living in a dream world

Wind power must be backed up by something else -- typically it's coal or gas-fired power. Since these carbon-producing powerplants have to be cycled due to the on-again/off-again nature of wind power, we're really no better off having wind power at all. Since you castigate hydropower as not clean, then certainly you must admit wind power isn't clean either. Do a search for Altamont Pass and see what impact wind power has had on golden eagle populations.

Slap, no argument from me about power backup,

in fact, I said it. Wind turbines can't be the only power source; that would be as stupid as hydropower being the only power source (check out hydro generation right now - with stream flows approaching seasonal lows, dams aren't producing much). Perhaps you realize also that as more wind power is developed over a wider geographic area, the 'bumps' and 'drops' in generation tend to level out. Check out wind power in Denmark & the Netherlands, where it's well integrated with the existing power grid.

A better opportunity for Idaho may exist with solar panels, particularly on hot summer days when the demand for electricity is high, much of it for residential and commercial air conditioning. Solar panels on the roof can offset these 'peak loads' significantly, dramatically reducing the power needed for AC from coal, gas, hydro plants.

With that said, wind power also fills a niche - especially in windy areas of the country like Montana, the Dakotas, Wyoming, or Mountain Home, Idaho.


May I ask you a serious question? I'm fairly up to speed on scientific terms used to measure time, but I'm not sure how long an instant is. I looked through my physics book sitting on my desk and couldn't find it there. Would you please fill all of us in on just how long an instant is? That will give us a basis upon which we may decide how glorious this event truly was.

Thanks. instant is

data collecting at the very moment you will be proved correct....

any instant before or after not counted cause goes against premise....

I'm going to have to use

I'm going to have to use that logic on my next test in Engineering Physics. Think it will work?

Ask Brian Greene about that.

and then shut up.


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It's for an instant. You know like instant coffee.

The electricity was produced to heat your "instant" coffee.

""produced 519 megawatts for an instant""
It was produced *for* something.

So it was produced "for an instant" coffee.


Rocky writes like an 8th grader. He doesn't like it if you tease (bully) him or ask him serious questions- he can't handle either.

On the contrary...he drinks your milkshake and giggles.


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See the addition

I updated to show the wind generation was fairly constant Tuesday.

PS The wind still rocks the lines and causes brownouts.


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Thanks for the update Rocky.

Thanks for the update Rocky. That gives a much better perspective. It make me feel better these beasts have ruined my backyard knowing they do contribute a sizable amount of power.

You telling me...

Outages suck but wind...?



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When you reread what you

When you reread what you wrote does it actually make sense in your head?

Am I alone in being totally lost nearly every time this dude says something?

That's because you lack the cognitive skills to finish a phrase.

BLOWS (but not Against The Empire).

Put that in your Starship, Jefferson.


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PS Rancher again?


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Wait a few years and we'll see what losers you all were. ;-ppp


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