Wind operators, RNP protest latest BPA proposal
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Wind energy operators say the Bonneville Power Administration's latest proposal falls short.
A coalition of wind energy operators sent a letter Monday to U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu outlining their complaints with the Bonneville Power Administration's new proposal to partially compensate them for the time their turbines stand idle when too much power from hydro sources crowds the grid.
The letter, signed by executives from Pacific Power, NextEra Energy Resources LLC, EDP Renewables North America LLC, Invenergy Wind North America LLC and Iberdrola Renewables Inc., airs concerns that BPA is not playing fair.
"BPA's self-regulation of its transmission system has harmed consumers," the letter reads. "Last year BPA artificially increased the value of its power resources (and raised power prices in the West when it had a cash surplus) by unilaterally revoking the contractual transmission rights of renewable energy generators located in Bonneville's control area."
The letter (available for download as a PDF here) is the latest salvo in a nearly year-long dispute between BPA and wind energy operators over what to do when high water in BPA's dam system prompted the administration to require the wind farms feeding its system to shut down to prevent an oversupply of power.
The dispute went to federal court and in December, the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee found in favor of wind energy companies and asked BPA to come up with a solution.
BPA proposed one last week, saying it would partially compensate wine energy operators for lost revenue if they are required to shut down again.
The proposal has not been well received as wind energy advocates say that the cost-sharing proposal dodges FERC's order issued on December 7 that the BPA file an open access transmission tariff that would prevent discrimination of different types of power.
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