Resource Adequacy—It’s What Keeps Me Up at Night

April 01, 2024

As an electric cooperative manager, ensuring the reliability and adequacy of our electric resources is paramount. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we benefit from a diverse mix of energy sources, including hydropower, wind, solar, and thermal generation. While each energy source has a place in meeting our energy needs, the heavy lifting is done by our amazing hydropower system. 

I generally take an all-available options approach when discussing adequate power supply for our cooperative. However, the current discussion to limit power generation at the Lower Snake River Dams (LSRD) and the possibility of dam breaching keeps me up at night.

Tony Schacher
Tony Schacher, Salem Electric General Manager

The LSRD greatly contributed to the Bonneville Power Administration’s efforts to keep the lights on last winter. Combined, they peaked to more than 1,000 average megawatts (MW) each day from January 13–16. At the same time solar and wind production fell from over 2,000 MW to near zero as the wind stalled and solar panels iced over.  

White House Council on Environmental Quality has repeatedly stated the proposed plan does not call for dam breaching. After reading the agreement I see a different objective. Mandated spill and flow requirements will chip away at the economic vitality of the dams with the goal of making them uneconomical to operate. As a Salem Electric member, we need your voice. Visit to advocate for affordable, reliable public power.