The John Day Dam on the Columbia River--Wikipedia photo

Owing to the wet winter in the Pacific Northwest, the Bonneville Power Administration is idling wind power capacity because too much electricity is being generated by government-owned hydropower dams. The agency can’t close the power generating turbines because the turbulence generated from the spill would be harmful to salmon.

In a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu regarding the situation, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said, “Renewable energy is becoming cheaper, distributed generation is becoming more common, and energy efficiency and demand response are reducing the need to build much new generation capacity. But integrating these new models into the existing electricity systems presents new challenges as well."

Wind power operators affected are planning to sue.