Here in Eugene, we are fortunate to have one of the cleanest power portfolios in the nation, with almost no electricity sourced from fossil fuels. Eighty percent of Eugene's power comes from carbon-free hydroelectric energy. The remaining 20 percent of our power comes from conventional and renewable resources.
Check out an infographic of where your power comes from.
Our beautiful northwest rivers not only support diverse recreation, vibrant farms, and abundant fish and wildlife. They also are our primary source of clean, reliable and affordable energy.
Hydroelectric plants are a carbon-free generation resource. Because it's fueled by water, the Northwest's hydroelectric power base does not produce air pollution or greenhouse gas emissions. Thanks to hydropower, the region is able to avoid the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to more than 10 million cars. That means we're all breathing easier thanks to the clean air benefits of hydropower.
Nearly 80 percent of Eugene's power comes from hydroelectric projects. EWEB customers own or co-own four such projects: Leaburg and Walterville hydroelectric projects, Stone Creek, and Carmen-Smith. The Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric Project, located 70 miles east of Eugene on the upper McKenzie River is our largest utility-owned power source, and has reliably served Eugene with low-cost hydropower since 1963.
Around 20 percent of your power comes from community owned or co-owned projects, including the four hydroelectric projects mentioned above. Other owned or co-owned projects include:
We generate around 20 percent of the community's power using EWEB-owned or co-owned resources. The remaining 80 percent comes from power purchase agreements, with the vast majority of purchased power coming from Bonneville Power Administration. BPA is a non-profit federal agency operating in the Pacific Northwest.
BPA markets wholesale electrical power from 31 federal hydroelectric projects in the Northwest, one nonfederal nuclear plant and several small nonfederal power plants.
While the majority of purchased power comes from Bonneville Power Administration, we receive a small amount of power from a handful of other contracted resources, including:
In 2007 Oregon enacted Senate Bill 838, the Oregon Renewable Energy Act (Act), which created a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that all Oregon electric utilities must follow. The purpose of the RPS is to decrease Oregon utilities reliance on fossil fuels for electric generation and increase their use of renewable energy sources.
For 2017, EWEB exceeded the 15 percent RPS target, based on our interpretation of the act's exemptions for power acquired through BPA and legacy hydropower. Read our 2017 Oregon Renewable Portfolio Standard Compliance Report.
As a public utility, we share our customers' values around environment stewardship. We aim to leave a positive legacy.
Here are some of the ways we work proactively to keep the lights on and the tap water flowing.