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Pacific Northwest hydro generation rebounds in November but stays below average

Despite near- to above-normal precipitation in November, hydroelectric generation in the Pacific Northwest came in below average levels for the month.

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Data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers show that total net generation at 23 hydroelectric plants across the Pacific Northwest was 19.6% lower than the year-ago level and 5.8% below the 10-year average as it reached 4.83 million MWh. That figure is up 25.4% from October.

Year-to-date hydropower production through November totaled 73.39 million MWh, up 11.5% versus the year-ago level and up 9.2% from the 10-year average for the period.

In the upper Columbia River Basin, the Grand Coulee Dam, the largest of the region, generated 1.26 million MWh, down 28.1% versus the year-ago month and down 15.5% versus the 10-year average for the period. The Chief Joseph Dam generated 682,652 MWh, down 26.4% versus November 2016 and down 13.4% versus the 10-year average for the month.

November flows in the lower Columbia River Basin were also lower versus the year-ago period. Located on the Washington-Oregon border, the Bonneville Dam produced 392,340 MWh, down 3.6% versus November 2016 and 0.6% lower versus the 10-year average for the month. The Dalles Dam, 50 miles downstream, produced 494,222 MWh, down 15.6% from the year-ago month and down 2.3% from the 10-year average for November.

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