In the years ahead, EWEB will have to make a lot of decisions about where to get the electricity that we deliver to customers.Find Out More
For EWEB, preparing for harsh winter storms is a year-round responsibility. While we can’t control the weather, we can make our electric infrastructure more resilient to withstand storms that bring snow, ice and wind to Eugene.Find Out More
There’s no obvious right answer to the question of what to do about the Leaburg dam and canal. EWEB’s Board of Commissioners met this week for a work session with staff about the project.Find Out More
Imagine if heavy snowfall and freezing rain hit Eugene this winter. Imagine damaged trees, road closures and widespread power outages. What would you do?Find Out More
Hundreds of landowners in the McKenzie River valley are working with EWEB to prevent future fires and protect the river by replanting burned properties and removing fuels like dead trees and underbrush.Find Out More
By partnering with ShakeAlert and the Oregon Hazards Lab, EWEB gets an early warning of the effects of earthquakes on hydropower facilities.Find Out More
EWEB held its Poster Contest for 5th grade students in our service territory for Public Power Week, October 2-8, receiving more than 100 entries from classrooms across the area.Find Out More
When access to pad mount transformers, cable, and smart meter chips tightened, EWEB only had one choice – double down on its core values, provide safe and reliable electricity. Below are the stories from EWEB staff about how they have navigated the ups and downs of this new frontier.Find Out More
EWEB is bringing back our annual poster contest for Public Power Week, and needs your help to select our top 5 winners!Find Out More
EWEB’s electric safety trailer is an interactive tool for the public to learn how to react in a potentially dangerous situation.Find Out More
Laura Farthing has been working for EWEB for the past 14 years. She’s the lead engineer on EWEB’s water storage construction project near E. 40th and Patterson St.Find Out More
EWEB used the tactic of a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) for the first time to mitigate the risk of wildfires.Find Out More
EWEB held a grand opening event for our Emergency Water Station near the Sheldon Fire Station on Saturday, September 10. The site would supply drinking water for the neighborhood in the event of a catastrophic earthquake or other disaster that cut off water to customers.Find Out More
This unique opportunity to reduce the infrastructure footprint and maintenance costs will also improve wildfire mitigation because less infrastructure means less chance of ignition or damage from a fire.Find Out More
We are working to ensure our systems are ready to perform through extreme heat. Check out tips and resources to help you stay safe and comfortable while conserving energy.Find Out More
EWEB is interested in renewable hydrogen because of its potential to help decarbonize energy sectors and provide resiliency in the event of a large-scale disaster in the Northwest. Earlier this month, the utility hosted a Hydrogen Roundtable that was organized by Congressman Peter DeFazio's office. The event showcased a Hydrostar solar-power electrolyzer and a Toyota Mirai, a hydrogen fuel cell passenger vehicle.
In spring time here in the Pacific Northwest, we often find ourselves with an oversupply of low cost, carbon-free hydro and wind energy. With no market for the energy, power generators are turned off, resulting in a lost opportunity for carbon-free energy, and hurting the economics of these green projects.
At other times of the year, typically mid-winter for heating loads and late summer for cooling loads, energy demand exceeds supply and generators run at capacity. Sometimes even that isn't enough, and utilities like EWEB import electricity into our region, largely from coal and other carbon-intensive resources located to our east. Most of EWEB's electricity-linked carbon footprint comes from purchases made by Bonneville Power Administration during these periods.
In order to decarbonize the energy sector and address the climate crisis, utilities need a way to capture excess energy and save it for when it's needed. While solar and battery storage systems are great for short-term daily cycles, deep decarbonization requires long-term energy storage that can bridge across the seasons, and function in different energy sectors, such as transportation.
Enter renewable hydrogen.
Using excess renewable power generated when wind, water and solar are plentiful, electrolyzers split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen produced from this process can be stored for future use, to help address the winter heating or summer cooling peaks, when capacity might be an issue, and it can be turned back into electricity if needed. It can also be used in the natural gas system, as a transportation fuel and as industrial feedstock for making fertilizer.
There are additional benefits to renewable hydrogen from a resiliency standpoint. Following a large scale regional disaster, the Southern Willamette valley might find itself isolated and on its own for a period of weeks or even months. Renewable hydrogen fuel cells can operate water pump stations and emergency drinking water wells. And because fuel cells are roughly twice as efficient as internal combustion engines, they can operate for significantly longer periods without refueling, compared to standard emergency generators.
The green hydrogen market is still in its infancy, especially in the Northwest. While hydrogen vehicle fueling stations can be found in California and in British Columbia, there are none in the area between. But EWEB is participating in renewable hydrogen discussions and partnerships because we see both the need and the potential.
In 2018, EWEB joined the Renewable Hydrogen Alliance as a founding member to further explore and facilitate opportunities for the advancement of hydrogen's development as an alternative fuel. EWEB is now one of eight utility members in RHA, with the others being Douglas County PUD, Fortis BC, Klickitat County PUD, Northwest Natural, Tacoma Power, Puget Sound Energy, and Portland General. EWEB plans to continue hydrogen development discussions with others in the region as the technology matures.
If you are interested in learning more about renewable hydrogen and its potential uses here in the Pacific Northwest, listen to a recording of the Aug. 1 Hydrogen Roundtable. The roundtable, which kicked off with remarks by General Manager Frank Lawson and Congressman DeFazio, included speakers from EWEB, Northwest Natural Gas, Oregon State University, the Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities Coalition, Toyota and the Renewable Hydrogen Association (RHA).
4200 Roosevelt Blvd.
Eugene, OR 97402
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Phone hours: 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.