The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) today named Portland General Electric (NYSE:POR) as a winner of the 2010 Edison Award, the electric utility industry’s highest honor, recognizing outstanding leadership and exceptional contributions to the industry. The announcement was made at EEI’s Annual Convention and Expo in Hollywood, Fla.
The award is presented annually by EEI and recognizes U.S. and international electric utilities for their innovation and role in advancing the industry. A panel of former electric company chief executives selected PGE for the 83rd annual award.
In an agreement with Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, PGE in 2009 completed a fish intake and bypass project at its 465-MW Pelton Round Butte Hydroelectric Project dam. For the first time in 40 years, Chinook, sockeye, and steelhead salmon will be able to complete their life cycles as the juvenile fish are passed downstream to the Deschutes River basin. PGE co-owns the facility with the tribes.
The project involves what is termed the Selective Water Withdrawal (SWW) Structure, a 273-foot-tall intake facility that attracts fish traveling downstream and provides safe passage for the salmon to be sorted and transferred. The SWW satisfies water quality requirements and reintroduces historical water temperature patterns of the lower Deschutes River, all while maintaining the hydroelectric facility’s generating capacity. The SWW is the only known floating surface fish collection facility coupled with power generation in the world.
PGE collaborated with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, and more than 22 local, state and federal agencies, environmental groups, engineering and consulting firms before completing the project.
“The effort by PGE to team up with so many parties and gain the support needed to move ahead with the project is almost as spectacular as the finished product itself,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “The company’s outstanding commitment to improving the salmon’s habitat resonates not only with local communities, but with the power industry, which is paying close attention to this great sustainability achievement via PGE’s top-notch engineering.”
“We couldn’t have accomplished the project without the collaboration and commitment from the Warm Springs Tribes, our employees, federal and state resources agencies, and our contractors,” said Jim Piro, president and CEO of PGE. “To be able to re-license the project for 50 years ensures that we will retain the long-term benefits of this renewable resource for our customers.”
PGE, headquartered in Portland, Ore, is a fully integrated electric utility that serves more than 817,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Oregon. To learn more about Pelton Round Butte and the award-winning project, visit www.deschutespassage.com