EWEB Board to weigh decommissioning of Leaburg Hydroelectric Project
The utility that operates a 90-year-old hydroelectric dam on the McKenzie River says it’s considering a proposal to remove it.
A spokesperson for EWEB says the board was receptive to general manager Frank Lawson’s recommendation to decommission the Leaburg project. Environmental, social, and financial aspects were all discussed, said EWEB’s electric generation manager, Lisa Krentz.
“The Leaburg Project, although it provides clean, renewable energy, it only serves about 4% of our community’s needs and is expected to cost somewhere between $117 to $230 per megawatt hour," said Krentz.
"Which is extremely expensive considering the other carbon-free resources that are available to us.”
EWEB plans to petition the Bonneville Power Administration to replace Leaburg’s energy generation, at lower cost.
Meanwhile, environmental groups including Cascadia Wildlands have voiced support for decommissioning the Leaburg site.
The board will vote on the proposal at its January meeting.