Portland, Ore. – The Bonneville Power Administration is offering $20,000 in science and energy education grants to nonprofit organizations, schools and others in support of work to educate
Portland, Ore. – The Bonneville Power Administration is seeking public input and comment on potential environmental impacts from a proposed project to restore a tidal marsh in Clatsop County
For Bonneville’s utility power customers, the wholesale rate increase will be an average of 9 percent higher than current rates. The power rate increase stems from higher costs to operate and maintain the federal hydroelectric system, higher costs to fund existing long-term agreements for the fish and wildlife mitigation program and reduced revenues from surplus power sales due to low market prices.
Portland, OR - The Bonneville Power Administration on Sunday announced a new approach to addressing situations arising when too much energy is available for delivery. In these situations, which usually happen in the springtime when there is a lot of water in the Columbia River system, some generators must be turned off. As the transmission grid operator, BPA is required to develop a method for determining which generators must be turned off first.
BPA’s plan allows for displacing generators after all other reasonable actions are taken. While BPA operates the transmission grid, it also is responsible for generation units. In times of high water, federal system operators must run the federal hydroelectric plants in order to comply with environmental regulations to protect fish. The plan, which was submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today, is based on input from regional stakeholders. In formulating this plan, BPA sought to balance multiple competing interests by equitably sharing oversupply costs and limiting total cost exposure. BPA’s objective was to create a set of rules that is fair to all parties and that can help to avoid protracted litigation.
BPA submitted the filing to meet the deadline set in a Dec. 7, 2011, FERC order. If accepted by FERC, the plan – referred to as the Oversupply Management Protocol – will be in place for one year. BPA received almost 90 comments on the proposal after releasing it for public comment on Feb. 7. Details about how the final submission differs from the initial proposal are available at the link.
ABERDEEN, Wash. - The Grays Harbor PUD Commissioners yesterday adopted a resolution rejecting a proposed settlement from the Bonneville Power Administration that sought to not only settle litigation surrounding the Residential Exchange Program, but to lock rate payers into a set fee structure for the next 17 years. Commissioner Tom Casey told the few that attended last night's meeting "Without binding arbitration, in effect, BPA doesn't have to follow any of their contracts, unless you want to sue them." The BPA proposal would require 91% of their Preferred customers to agree, with a deadline of April 15th, the commissioners last night said they don't think enough Public Utilities will sign the agreement.
ABERDEEN, Wash. - A meeting next month will discuss a possible settlement with the Bonneville Power Administration regarding the Residential Exchange Program. Liz Anderson with the Grays Harbor PUD tells us following a court victory, over BPS rates in 2001, for consumer-owned utilities including Grays Harbor PUD the litigation is continuing over the amount due and how the exchange payments are calculated going forward. In an effort to settle the litigation, some representatives of investor-owned utilities and consumer-owned utilities developed a “Settlement” that is currently under consideration by consumer-owned utilities throughout the region.
The Settlement would obligate customers of consumer-owned utilities to pay fixed amounts for the Residential Exchange for 17 years, ranging from $182 million (total for public power) in the first year to over $286 million in 2028. The Grays Harbor PUD Board of Commissioners is reviewing the Settlement terms and considering the best option for ratepayers. The forum Thursday, April 7, 2011 from 6pm-8pm will provide an opportunity for a dialogue with ratepayers to discuss the proposal and Grays Harbor’s position.
CHINOOK, Wash. - Large numbers of salmon may soon make their way into a tidal wetland that’s been closed to migrating fish on the Columbia River for more than a century.
The wetland near Chinook, Wash., is the type of habitat that is vital to the survival of migrating juvenile salmon and is clearly marked on the historic maps of explorers Lewis and Clark.
Since the 1890’s, railroad tracks and a highway, now US 101, disconnected the river and tides from the 96-acre marsh. During construction, crews installed an enormous new culvert with a natural stream bottom that will once again connect the river to the wetland.
Wednesday, Feb. 16, crews removed a large cofferdam. The temporary structure kept water from entering the new culvert during construction. Once the dam is removed, the Columbia River tides will flow into the marsh for the first time in more than 100 years.
ABERDEEN, Wash. - The Grays Harbor PUD Board of Commissioners have approved a budget for 2011 which anticipates a possible 7% rate increase in the coming year. The PUD says 4% of the rate increase would cover the rising cost of renewable resources, and conservation mandated under Initiative 937, as well as anticipated cost of power purchased from Bonneville Power Administration. The remaining 3% will be set aside to fund future capital improvement projects to reduce long term debt. Relations Director Liz Anderson tells KBKW the Commissioners passed the budget at Monday's meeting, but will address the rate increase proposal at a later date.