A Stronger Electricity Grid Is Crucial to Cutting Carbon. Does that Make It Green?

Around the bend lies The Dalles, where Cascade Renewable Transmission partners propose to start laying power cables in the riverbed. The cables would deliver enough renewable energy to Portland to power nearly one million homes. Photo by Leah Nash.

Can slicing a 100-mile-long trench into the bed of the Columbia River — the iconic giant whose flow binds British Columbia, Washington and Oregon — be good for the environment? The answer is a big yes, says a team of energy developers that proposes submerging power cables in the riverbed.

According to Peter Fairley’s report, the developers say the submerged cables could deliver “clean” energy that will be crucial for getting the most densely developed areas of Cascadia off fossil fuels. But, as Fairley reports, the proposed plan is causing uneasiness among those concerned with ecosystems and communities. Read his full report, here.