Bonneville Power Administration Exempts Wind from Transmission Penalty in Northwest

November 02, 2002

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) exempted wind power facilities on July 15th from its transmission imbalance penalty. Under its Generation Imbalance Service Rate (GIS Rate), BPA charges a generator $.10 per kWh (100 mills) minimum when generation falls short of what is expected. The rate is a penalty designed to encourage power generators to schedule accurately.

In issuing the decision, BPA recognized that the variable nature of wind power generation makes it impossible for the penalty to have its desired effect. BPA has put in place a new rate for transmission of wind energy, which lasts for one year until October 1, 2003, during which time it will collect comments from regional stakeholders about establishing a permanent price based on actual costs.

Jim Caldwell, Policy Director for the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), commented about the case, "Without this decision, wind development in Bonneville's service territory in the Northwest would have ground to a halt." AWEA was part of a broad coalition that pressed the BPA case, including wind energy companies; the cities of Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington; and the Oregon Energy Office. Source: July 19, 2002 issue of Wind Energy Weekly.