Bonneville Power submits oversupply plan with FERC
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
The Bonneville Power Administration on Tuesday filed an updated plan for dealing with periods of excess power generation with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The Bonneville Power Administration on Tuesday filed a formal plan of action in the event that springtime runoff again creates a situation of hydropower oversupply.
The plan addresses how and when other power sources will be shut down and how operators will be compensated. It was required by FERC after the commission's December ruling, which found BPA's curbing of wind power generation last spring was discriminatory.
Last month, BPA released a draft of its plan, which included a partial reimbursement for wind energy operators for missed revenue if the administration again has to require wind farms to stop generating power during times of oversupply, for comment.
It was met with dismay on the part of renewable energy advocates who said BPA was still discriminating against renewable energy generators.
BPA officials said Tuesday that the plan calls for asking wind energy generators to power down after all other reasonable actions are taken. During times of high water, federal system operators must run river flow through the hydroelectric system rather than spilling it over the dams to comply with environmental rules about protecting fish. Renewable energy advocates have said that the danger to salmon from water spilling has been overstated.
"We have heard and responded to the calls for a solution developed in the Northwest," BPA Administrator Steve Wright said in a press release. “While the time frame we had to deal with did not provide opportunity for a broad settlement, our filing today is based on extensive conversations with and comments from parties interested in achieving an equitable solution."
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