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Clallam PUD fears new BPA policy could drive up local power rates  

Credit:  www.konp.com 10 February 2012 ~~

(Port Angeles) – A decision by the Bonneville Power Administration may result in higher wholesale rates for Clallam PUD.

The BPA is proposing to compensate wind energy producers to reduce or stop their output during high river flow periods…attempting to address the risk of a possible over supply of energy when hydroelectric power is produced by a high runoff of water, combined with wind-generation in low-demand periods, such as late at night.

PUD General Manager Doug Nass says because electricity supply must always match demand, BPA has determined the best approach to addressing the problem is to pay developers not to produce electricity during high river-flow periods.

Early BPA estimates suggest this proposal could result in paying wind energy producers $12-million dollars per year, though it will vary by year, and could reach as high as $50-million. Nass says ultimately local ratepayers will pay for the added cost.

Also, at a January 31st meeting, BPA announced that wholesale electric rates may increase by as much at 12% during the next rate period, which begins in October of 2013. According to Nass, BPA has a history of releasing early high rate increase projections, and then backing off and ending with a lower increase.

Source:  www.konp.com 10 February 2012

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