BPA tilts at windmills

BPA tilts at windmills

Wind power is growing in popularity in the Northwest. Even the Bonneville Power Administration has begun focusing on it. But debate remains as to whether a complete switch from dams to windmills is as practical and environmentally friendly as some people think.

For decades, most of the nation’s renewable power has come from dams, which supplied cheap electricity without requiring fossil fuels. But the federal agencies running the dams often compiled woeful track records on other environmental issues.

Now, with the focus in Washington on clean power, some dam agencies are starting to go green, embracing wind power and energy conservation. The most aggressive is the Bonneville Power Administration, whose power lines carry much of the electricity in the Pacific Northwest. The agency also provides a third of the region’s power supply, drawn mostly from generators inside big dams.

Read the full story in The New York Times.