BPA: Rate hike stems partly from enviro program, will slash carbon
By Andy Giegerich
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
The rate hikes are Bonneville's first in six years.
Bonneville Power Administration leaders said a 9 percent average wholesale power rate increase, and an 11 percent average transmission rate increase, will allow it to provide “carbon-free, affordable” energy in the Northwest.
The new rates, which mark BPA’s first increase in six years, take effect Oct. 1.
“We recognize that rate increases are very challenging for customers, especially for those still in the throes of a slow economy,” said BPA Acting Administrator Elliot Mainzer in a release. “But the increases are necessary so that we can preserve the long-term value of carbon-free federal generation and support the reliability of the high-voltage transmission lines that serve Northwest public utilities.”
BPA said the hike 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.”
The group sets rates every two years with utility customers and other stakeholders. BPA said it will spend $20 million each year to offset other increases.
The increase still needs the go-ahead from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
BPA’s Administrator Bill Drummond and one other top exec left the agency earlier this month after federal officials said BPA retaliated against whistle blowers.
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