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Northwest hydroelectric output above five-year range for much of 2011

TODAY IN ENERGY: Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Northwest hydroelectric output above five-year range for much of 2011

The 2011 hydro season began earlier and lasted significantly longer than in recent years, well into the summer months. Hydroelectric generation in the Pacific Northwest is typically highest in the late winter and spring when river flows are high because of snowpack melt. This low-cost energy contributed to an average 18% decline in wholesale electricity prices compared to prices in 2010 at Mid-Columbia, a major Northwest wholesale pricing hub near the Washington-Oregon border.

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