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Economic and dam related articles

BPA Issues Mid-Year Forecast

by Staff
BPA Journal, June 2006

On May 1, BPA announced its mid-year forecast based on its financial condition at the end of the second quarter of FY 2006. BPA is projecting substantial improvement in its financial performance and the potential for making up severe losses suffered as a result of the 2001 West Coast energy crisis.

As a result of strong surplus power sales and cost controls, BPA is forecasting modified net revenues of $450 million at year's end -- up over $250 million from start-of-year projections.

While higher net revenues are a good indicator of BPA's improving financial health, it is still too early to predict rate impacts this fall. Higher net revenues will put downward pressure on BPA's initial rate proposal. However, other factors, such as ongoing Endangered Species Act litigation, will apply upward pressure, at least partially offseting these revenue gains.

If the second quarter revenue projections are realized, this would be the fourth year in a row that BPA has ended the year in the black. In 2001 and 2002, BPA lost more than $700 million. BPA has had difficulty recovering financially due in large part to six straight below average water years. If the early May forecast is realized, BPA would be within $40 million of financially breaking even for the years 2001 through 2006.

Fish count exceeds forecast

This year's run of spring chinook salmon in the Columbia River has been one of the latest on record.

Biologists originally estimated 88,000 for the spring chinook run this year. They then changed the estimate to a range of 65,000 to 88,000 in the early part of May. But, the run picked up with large numbers the second and third weeks of May. By May 31, the total run passed the 100,000 mark. So, the final 2006 spring Chinook count may end up being in the top 10 of the past 25 years.

BPA Issues Mid-Year Forecast
BPA Journal, June 2006

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