This report is also called the 1991 Northwest Power Plan, or 3rd Power Plan.
See our current power plan page for the most current plan, and history of previous plans.
To the People of the Pacific Northwest:
These are pivotal times in the Pacific Northwest, urgent times. The region needs new supplies of electricity now, and this plan describes the most financially and environmentally sound means of acquiring them. It is a plan that calls on everyone in the Northwest to use electricity as efficiently as possible. It sets an agenda for a regional commitment to study and develop new energy producing technologies.
Throughout the 1980s, the Northwest had more electric power than it required. But we experienced such an economic rebound that we've exhausted that surplus.
That's why this plan is a call to action. In it, we outline a strategy designed to respond to a wide range of uncertainty. Between now and the year 2000, we are asking this region to lead the nation by securing at least 1,500 megawatts of conservation in our homes, farms, businesses and industries, as well as efficiency improvements to our power system. This will be an exciting challenge.
We are calling for exploration and demonstration of renewable resource technologies. And we seek answers to questions that have hobbled this region's ability to be decisive about our future use of thermal power plants.
While we were designing this plan, we were also mindful of the need to protect the Columbia River Basin's salmon, particularly those runs that have become the focus of possible declarations under the Endangered Species Act. Much of what we do in our society affects the salmon's survival, but there is no question that the dams we rely on for power are a major source of the problem. Changes in how the dams are operated-changes that could reduce the amount of electricity we can draw from the dams at certain times of the year-are one possible response to any salmon listing. We have already begun the process of amending our Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program to improve conditions for salmon.
If we are to continue to meet this region's electrical needs at the lowest possible cost — to rate payers, the environment and the Northwest's economy — we will need the cooperation of every Northwesterner. Now is the time to act. The power is yours; make the most of it.
[signed by James Goller, Ted Bottiger, Robert Saxvik, Tom Trulove, John Brenden, Angus Duncan, Stan Grace, Ted Hallock]