Bonneville Power Seeking 6.7 Percent
by Brooks Johnson
The Bonneville Power Administration, which supplies most of the Cowlitz PUD's electricity, announced Thursday it wants to raise its wholesale power rate by 6.7 percent starting next October.
BPA also announced it will seek an additional 5.6 percent increase in transmission fees and infrastructure costs for 2016 and 2017.
It is not yet clear how much the BPA hikes will drive up rates at Cowlitz PUD, which buys about 90 percent of its residential power from the federal power marketer. PUD managers recently projected that they may have to raise rates 5 percent next year in response to the BPA action.
Though double-digit power rate increases were expected, the BPA was able to keep the biannual increase lower, according to a BPA press release.
"Working closely with our customers and other regional stakeholders over the past nine months, we managed to significantly cut the forecasted rate increases," BPA CEO Elliot Mainzer said in the release.
A final decision on BPA rates is set for July following a public process. New rates would take effect Oct. 1.
The transmission rate increase is for maintaining and expanding the BPA's power grid, which distributes electricity from Pacific Northwest hydropower dams and other energy facilities.
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