Monday, March 23, 2015

Great Electrifying Event

Once a year, the Bonneville Dam holds the Great Electrifying Event. They have special experiments set up throughout the Washington Shore Visitor Center for kids to learn about electricity and hydroelectric power.  The highlight of course is the plant tour. We had been to the Bonneville Fish Hatchery  recently, but a few years since we've seen Powerhouse 2.  It's pretty neat!  If you visit for this annual event, you'll get special kid's activities.  But they do offer guided tours, currently at 10AM, 1:30PM and 3:30PM on weekends, and daily from June 15 to September 2.  Don't expect them to cover the modern controversy over hydroelectric power, which has certainly been a huge improvement over coal burning power plants.  However well intentioned, the fish hatcheries which were proposed as a remedy have not prevented drastic declines in salmon populations, and create carbon emissions because of fish transportation programs.  So many hope that promising new green technology will eventually replace both coal and hydroelectric plants, and dams will be removed. For more information on the work of fish hatcheries, the film Running the Gauntlet is available for free online.
One of the spinning rotors.
Wicket gates.
A fish ladder.
An experiment in conductivity.
An experiment in wind power.

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