In an effort to improve and protect the resources of the Grand Canyon, the Bureau of Reclamation and the National Park Service initiated a public process on Nov. 7 to review the timing and volume of water flow from Glen Canyon Dam. This includes the management of the dam over the next 15 to 20 years.
A Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan will be developed to ensure that the water flow management on the Colorado River meets goals of supplying water for communities, agriculture and industry, and protecting the natural resources and fish species of the Grand Canyon, while providing hydropower.
The next step is to develop an environmental impact statement.
In addition to the meetings, written comments are being accepted through Dec. 30 of this year, with a draft study expected to be released in 2013.
More information, visit the Glen Canyon Dam website.
Western is involved with many transmission projects throughout its 15-state territory. To ensure reliable service the system often needs upgrades, additions or other modifications. So in addition to maintenance of Western’s existing infrastructure, the agency often is involved with supporting or leading proposed construction projects to keep the bulk electrical system running smoothly.
You can learn more about several construction projects Western is currently involved in on our “Infrastructure projects” webpage.
As you click through the proposed upgrades, you will see Western’s strong commitment to complying with the National Environmental Protection Act. For nearly all projects, we conduct environmental studies to determine the impact these infrastructure projects will have on the area’s land, habitat, water, endangered and protected species and cultural and historical resources.
From our website you can see the proposed projects and construction planned for your local area to ensure the lights stay on in your home or business.
With several organizations and different interests represented, the workshop pointed out the common desire to develop interconnections to the transmission system. “It’s important to come together, identify all those interests and find good investment solutions that best meet those desires, while maintaining the power grid’s reliability,” said Desert Southwest’s Transmission Services Manager Ron Moulton.
Moulton recognized how important this meeting was for Western and its customers. He explained, “There’s a considerable amount of energy needs in Western’s service territory. It’s important for us to understand customer needs and concerns to meet those needs in an environmentally-friendly and cost effective way.”
Read the full story at Energy Services Bulletin.
Understanding how water held behind large dams is converted to usable electricity for homes and business can be explained in many ways, but seeing the process in action can make all the difference.
Twenty-three students under the Hydro Research Foundation’s Fellowship program did just that July 18. As part of their week-long Hydro Vision International conference focused on “Clean Energy,” these fellows took a tour of Western Area Power Administration’s Sierra Nevada power dispatch center in California, as well as Bureau of Reclamation’s Folsom Dam and Reservoir. Employees from both agencies briefed participants on water, hydropower and power system and transmission operations.
Hydro Research Foundation Program Director Deborah Linke, a former Western employee, led the tour. Linke said, “The fellows are really neat—they’re bright, full of energy and have lots of good ideas.”
Hydro Research Foundation’s Fellows program, funded by a $3 million Department of Energy grant, encourages participants to seek advanced knowledge about hydroelectric technology, including ways to make it more efficient and limit the environmental impacts.
Learn more about hydropower
While not everyone has the time and energy to tour facilities to understand how hydropower works, reading about how it’s created and gets to your home can be very helpful. Western’s Harnessing Hydropower brochure (pdf) offers an overview of how generating agencies—like the Bureau of Reclamation—capture the energy of this natural resource that Western then markets to your local towns, cooperatives, public utilities and others that continue to power your computers, appliances and lights in your home or business.
(Note: Submitted to DOE’s blog by Western’s Renewable Energy Program Manager Randy Manion.)
With their successful and creative use of wind power, Texas’ CPS Energy and Denton Municipal Electric beat out 15 other nominees to win the 2011 Public Power Award on June 21, reported the Department of Energy’s blog.
The two energy providers won for their outstanding contributions in the industry, specifically:
CPS Energy, based in San Antonio, Texas, provides 10 percent of its total energy through its voluntary Windtricity program—and expects to increase this to 20 percent by 2020.
Denton Municipal Electric of Denton, Texas, purchased enough wind power—539,000 MWh—from the Wolf Ridge Wind Farm last fiscal year to power about 49,450 homes. In just one year, Denton’s purchase has reduced air pollution by preventing the release of 424,128 tons of carbon dioxide, 206 tons of nitrogen oxide and 1,257 tons of sulfur dioxide emissions.
The annual Public Power Award, sponsored by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Wind Powering America initiative and the American Public Power Association, recognizes public power utility companies at the forefront of developing America’s vast wind resources and providing affordable electricity to customers. The program is managed by Western’s Renewable Energy Program.
Working their way back to Washington, D.C., Mira Loma High School took the title back as the Department of Energy’s 2011 Science Bowl Champions. Coach James Hill took home the 2009 championship and brought back another top team to the winners’ circle this year. Team members Russell Islam, Siddharth Trehan, Andrew Chen, Anish Khare, Sriram Pendyala receive an all-expense-paid trip in July to the International Science School in Sydney, Australia.
During the awards ceremony, Secretary Chu shared with more than 500 students why math and science is so important to our country’s future. He stated, “I have no doubt that the exceptional talent and hard work that earned them the Science Bowl championship will serve them well throughout their lives, as they help our Nation tackle the crucial scientific and engineering challenges we’ll face in the years ahead. America’s future will always be bright when we continue to invest in and support the young minds who will be tomorrow’s innovators, pioneers and leaders. That’s what the science bowl is all about.”
Western hosts six regional science bowls—including the one Mira Loma won in Sacramento—to help fulfill the Secretary of Energy’s vision of the future in science and technology.
The National Science Bowl competiton is April 28 to May 2.
In 1991, the Department of Energy developed the NSB to encourage students from across the nation to excel in math and science and to pursue careers in those fields. It’s an academic science competition for high school and middle school students who show their knowledge in a question-and-answer format. The goal is to invest in our next generation of scientists, engineers and educators so America can remain at the forefront of innovation and successfully compete in the 21st century global marketplace.
Western is committed to math and science education to help provide a technically trained and diverse workforce for the nation. Western supports the Science Bowl with six annual regional competitions from around its service territory.
What property of a sound wave is most commonly associated with loudness? How many significant figures are in the number 0.00750? What is the proper name of the star that is most commonly noted to have coordinates closest to the north celestial pole?
High school students across Western’s service area faced questions like these at Western Regional Science Bowl competitions February and March. Western hosted six preliminary, regional competitions for the Department of Energy’s National Science Bowl. The winners include:
- Rocky Mountain Regional competition sees Ft. Collins winner: Ridgeview Classical High School of Fort Collins, Colo., won the RM Regional Science Bowl held at Colorado State University, Feb. 5.
- Sierra Nevada Regional winner defends title: Mira Loma High School Team A won the Sacramento Regional Science Bowl, Feb. 5. This is the fifteenth straight year that Mira Loma High School won top honors.
- Third time winner at North Dakota regional bowl: Grand Forks Red River took first place at ND’s Regional Science Bowl, Feb. 12. This is their third consecutive championship win.
- South Dakota Regional competition produces top honors: The Quiz Bowl Team from Vermillion High School won the SD Regional Science Bowl, held Feb. 12. Along with being the top team, Vermillion also had the top individual scorer.
- Upper Great Plains regional winner triumphs competition: Helena High School of Billings, SD, clinched the Big Sky Regional Science Bowl championship at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center, Feb. 12.
- Desert Southwest Regional competition sends on champions: Arizona Desert Vista High School was the victors of the Arizona Regional Science Bowl, March 5, at Glendale Community College in Glendale, Ariz.
Winning teams from Western-sponsored regional competitions earned an all-expenses-paid trip to the national competition in Washington, DC, April 28 through May 2.
DOE launched its National Science Bowl competition in 1991 to encourage high school students to excel in science and math and to pursue careers in those fields. It now involves more than 4,500 students.
For more information about the national competition, visit DOE’s Science Bowl website.