BPA responds, PUC weighs in on wind complaint
By Christina Williams
Editor, Sustainable Business Oregon
The Bonneville Power Administration requested this week that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission dismiss the complaint against it filed by wind power generators.
Bonneville Power Administration responded to the complaint filed against it by five wind energy-related companies Tuesday, saying that the companies' demand for payment and complaints of discrimination are without merit.
The response, filed this week to meet a July 19 deadline set by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, highlights BPA's commitment to protecting endangered Columbia River fish and inability to sell wind-generated electricity during times of low demand.
Meanwhile, the Oregon Public Utilities Commission filed its own comments on the complaint, weighing in with support for the wind generators.
Both responses were filed to answer to the original complaint filed with FERC in June by Iberdrola Renewables, PacifiCorp, NextEra Energy Resources, Horizon Wind Energy and Invenergy Wind North America.
That complaint sought relief from BPA's decision to require wind farms to shut down during times of excess power generation. Excess generation became a problem this spring when a robust Northwest snow pack led to high water levels coursing through the BPA-managed Federal Columbia River Power System.
The wind companies, with the PUC's agreement, argue that Bonneville Power is violating the Federal Power Act by requiring wind operators to shut down generation.
In its response, the BPA maintains that no violation has taken place and that FERC has no authority to rule on the contract dispute.
FERC has not yet responded to the complaint, pending the answer filed this week from BPA.
BPA is no longer curtailing, or requesting wind power shut-downs, this year. BPA's Michael Milstein, a spokesman, told the Associated Press that total wind cutailments this season amounted to just more than 6 percent of wind farms' potential output since mid-May.
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