Pac-NW Irrigators Save Power

Published online: Jul 26, 2001
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Irrigators in the Pacific Northwest have apparently done their share of power savings in lieu of irrigating crops.

Figures released by the Bonneville Power Administration, show that Idaho irrigators saved the three utilities operating in that state about 270 megawatts.

Washington state irrigators saved utilities there about 100 MW. Aluminum companies in Washington state have closed down to save 1,000 MW.

BPA noted that there were some irrigators in Idaho that turned off all pumps indefinitely.

The conservation effort was meant to save the utilities from buying expensive power on the open market. Although electricity prices have risen this year, load reductions and the higher cost of power forcing about 4-5 percent less usage, have held down wholesale rates.

However, most of the Pac-NW remains in a severe drought, with water flows to generate hydropower at near-record lows and the hottest portion of the summer ahead.