Wind for salmon in Oregon

Oregon utilities and consumers are being urged by Governor John Kitzhaber and the Portland City Council to take part in the "For The Sake of The Salmon" program, under which utilities buy power designated salmon friendly, such as wind, and consumers receive discounts from retailers designed to offset the extra cost of that power. The program is the brainchild of "For The Sake of The Salmon," a coalition of tribal, federal, state and local governments, the fishing and timber industries, utilities, environmental groups and agricultural producers, says Bill Bradbury of the coalition (Windpower Monthly, July 1998). The power will be cleaner and less expensive than other forms of green power, he adds. The coalition will certify that certain forms of energy will not harm salmon. The salmon-friendly energy includes the output of renewable resource projects or hydropower plants that meet salmon protection criteria established by American Rivers, a national river conservation organisation. No energy from coal or nuclear plants will be included. Under the plan, energy providers or utilities will offer the energy deemed clean; For The Sake of The Salmon will link the energy companies with retail merchandisers that want to offer discount coupons to people who buy the power; and the increased cost to consumers will be offset by savings someplace else -- at the merchandisers' stores, says Bradbury. Salmon friendly power is expected to cost about 5% more than market prices, and $0.005/kWh would go to a fund designed to protect salmon habitat. While For The Sake of The Salmon has not yet offered any energy, it has attracted the interest of a major Northwest grocery chain, Fred Meyer, adds Bradbury. Meyer is interested in offering discount coupons at its stores.