Thanks to record-breaking snow in the mountains in February, the Northwest’s electrical utilities may not be out of luck after all, according to a recent Seattle PI blog. A drier than usual start to winter had electrical companies in Seattle predicting empty mountains and empty pockets.
Much to their surprise, a sudden surplus of runoff will allow for the sale of up to $19 million worth of power for Seattle City Light, Seattle’s publicly owned electric power utility. The Northwest region has an extraordinary amount of power to sell and fortunately, Seattle customers benefit from the publicly owned electrical utilities with a zero dollar surcharge, the blog explained.
Seattle City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco was quoted in the blog as saying, “While any forecast can and will change based on how much electricity we can produce and the price we can get for that power, we are in a much better position than we were earlier in the year.”
How Much Snow Hit the Passes?
Beaver Pass in the North Cascades, Northeast Washington and Northern Idaho all have snow well above normal.
Other Benefits of Snow Runoff
Not only does snow runoff allow for low cost hydroelectric power in the Northwest region, it also provides water to the Columbia and Yakima irrigation districts and assists young salmon upstream with a quick river flow, the blog noted.
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(Photos via blog.seattlepi.com and by Evgeni Dinev via FreeDigitalPhotos.net)