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
On a chilly November day, third graders from Adams Elementary School in Eugene learned about the lifecycle of native salmon on a field trip to Lake Creek near Triangle Lake. The field trips take place all month as part of a program funded by EWEB grants. EWEB dedicates a portion of customer rates to inspiring kids to explore the wonders of science and learn about watershed health, water quality, and emergency preparedness.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
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 works with watershed researchers, forest management agencies and local non-profits to identify threats to our water supply and public health, prioritize watershed restoration activities and help with long-term community recovery.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
Local middle school students from around the area learned about the entire life cycle of salmon along the McKenzie River at Salmon Watch 2022, which was held at the EWEB spawning channel. The field trip took place during peak salmon spawning season, when fish that are at least two feet long are reaching the end of their journey from the ocean to their natal streams.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 used the tactic of a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) for the first time to mitigate the risk of wildfires.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
At this rodeo, power poles take the place of bulls and electric workers stand in for cowboys.Find Out More
We are fortunate to have one of the cleanest power portfolios in the nation, with almost no electricity sourced from fossil fuels. How much do you know about our community's primary power resource—clean, renewable hydropower?
We have a lot to appreciate here in Eugene, from our beautiful parks and open spaces, to world class sports, great craft beer, clean water, and beautiful weather (well, for at least a few months of the year). When you think of all the things that make Eugene a great place to live, one thing you might not immediately consider is our energy source. If you are an EWEB customer, you're experiencing the benefits of hydropower, maybe without even realizing it.
Our beautiful local rivers not only support diverse recreation, vibrant farms, and abundant fish and wildlife, but they also are our primary source of clean, reliable and affordable energy.
Hydropower is a form of renewable energy that uses water stored in dams, or flowing in rivers, to create electricity. Falling or flowing water spins a turbine, activating a generator that converts the energy into electricity, which is then fed into the electrical grid to be used by homes and businesses.
Nearly 80 percent of Eugene's power comes from hydroelectric projects.
EWEB customers own or co-own four such projects: Leaburg, Stone Creek, Walterville 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.
Carmen-Smith helps us manage electricity prices because the generator can ramp up and down to meet our customers' peak energy needs. In other words, Carmen-Smith operates when our community needs power the most and when buying that power on the wholesale market would be most expensive.
Our region's hydroelectric plants are valuable also as 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.
Resiliency is another key benefit of our local hydro generation projects. We are working on building a 'resilient spine' in our electric transmission system. The idea is to enable us to move power from local generating resources to critical facilities, such as hospitals and public safety agencies, in an emergency. With about 110 MW of capacity, reliable and locally-controlled Carmen-Smith plays a significant role in this concept.
This month, we're joining Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and other Pacific Northwest utilities that use hydropower in promoting Hydropower Flows Here, an education and information campaign about the various attributes of this renewable, clean, reliable source of electricity that powers nearly 60 percent of Northwest homes and businesses. Here are some interesting hydro facts from BPA:
Hydropower is efficient. Hydropower plants at dams convert about 90 percent of the energy in falling water into electrical energy. By comparison, fossil-fueled plants lose more than half of the energy content of their fuel as waste heat and gases.
Hydropower is secure. Water from our rivers is largely a domestic resource that is not subject to disruptions from foreign suppliers, cost fluctuations in power markets, international political crises or transportation outages.
Hydropower is flexible. By adjusting the amount of water flowing through the dams, hydropower can be increased or decreased very quickly to meet changes in demand for power. This meets a fundamental requirement of all electric grids, which is that demand must exactly match supply at all times to keep the system stable.
Hydropower allows for the growth of other renewable resources. Hydropower is a great "back-up" for wind and solar power. For example, it can be ramped up to meet demand when the wind is not blowing, and dialed down at times of high winds.
Hydropower is affordable. Because hydropower costs less than most energy sources, states that get the majority of their electricity from hydropower—like Idaho, Washington and Oregon—have lower energy bills than the rest of the country.
The next time you turn on the light switch, make a pot of coffee or charge your electric vehicle, remember that "Hydropower Flows Here!"
4200 Roosevelt Blvd.
Eugene, OR 97402
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Phone hours: 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.