Opponents of breaching the Snake river dams in the US were highlighting the hydroelectric dams’ value when the northwestern states suffered energy shortages at the end of June. According to a report in the Tri-Cities Herald, a Richland nuclear plant and three coal plants tripped off line leaving the area short of power. At the time the Snake river dams were producing an average of just 750MW, 25% of what they are capable of with increased flow. The limited megawatts were caused by restrictions to assist recreational boaters and migrating fish.
As the price of electricity increases in the west coast power markets, analysts say it points to the need for more power plants. Removal of the Snake river dams would only exacerbate energy shortage problems, dam breaching opponents say.