Chelan dam upgrade counts as renewable energy

WENATCHEE (AP) — The state Commerce Department says the Chelan County PUD can count improvements at its Rocky Reach Dam toward targets for renewable energy.

A conservation law passed by voters in 2007 requires most utilities to move toward supplying 15 percent of their power from renewable resources by 2020.

The Wenatchee World reports ( ) hydroelectric dams don’t count toward that goal, but efficiency improvements at dams do count.

A fish bypass and turbine-generator upgrades allow the Rocky Reach Dam to generate more electricity this year with the same amount of water.

Without the state approval for meeting renewable energy targets, the utility would have had to buy wind or solar power or pay a fine.