Your Co-op’s hydropower advantage

Where does FEC’s power come from?

Water is powerful. Powerful enough, in fact, to energize most of the northwest.

While many utilities across the country struggle to find a clean, reliable and affordable power supply, Flathead Electric continues to enjoy the benefits of hydropower through the Bonneville Power Administration(BPA).

As a member of the Co-op, doesn’t it feel good to know that almost all of your energy comes from a renewable and completely carbon-free resource?

Clean Energy Fuel Mix Chart
As of December 2020, Flathead Electric Cooperative’s fuel mix is as follows: 80% from Large Hydro, 11.2% from Nuclear, 4.7% Unspecified, 1.4% Biomass, 0.8% Small Hydro, 0.7% Landfill Gas, 0.7% Wind, 0.2% Coal. Natural Gas, Solar, Recovered Energy and Oil make up for less than 0.1% of FEC’s fuel mix.

Advantages of hydropower:

  • Hydropower has virtually no carbon footprint. 
  • Hydropower is reliable. Unlike solar or wind energy, it is unvarying and independent of weather and other factors. Intermittent resources like solar or wind need hydropower to fill the gaps when the sun isn’t shining and wind isn’t blowing. 
  • Hydropower is more affordable than other renewable energy resources, helping keep the Co-op’s rates among the lowest in the region, as they have been historically.  
  • The hydropower projects in our rivers provide effective flood control for Northwest communities, and have created recreational opportunities as well. 
  • Water from rivers is a purely domestic resource that cannot be interrupted by foreign suppliers, production strikes or transportation issues. 
  • Even though the law states that existing hydro is not renewable, it is largely viewed as a renewable form of energy that does not rely upon finite resources like natural gas or coal to generate power. 
  • Hydropower turbines are capable of converting 90 percent of available energy into electricity, which is more efficient than any other form of generation. 

Dams are like giant batteries

Help Hydro

The Northwest is leader in clean energyLuckily for us, our largest renewable, hydropower, is helping us churn out thousands of megawatts and providing wind and solar with firm backup in our quest to go greener. There are challenges to our hydropower sources, however, so together we must take action to protect them. 

Additional resources

Northwest RiverPartners >

Bonneville Power Administration – Hydropower Flows Here >