BPA Makes 25th Annual Payment
The Bonneville Power Administration this week announced it is making its 25th consecutive annual payment to the U.S. Treasury -- a total of $963 million for fiscal year 2008, which ended Sept. 30.
BPA officials say the record of 25 annual payments on time and in full underscores the agency's financial stability and its return in value to U.S. taxpayers, who originally invested in the region's federal dams and transmission infrastructure.
This year's payment includes $555 million in principal and $384 million in interest as well as items such as retirement coverage. The payment applies to the U.S. taxpayer investment in the Federal Columbia River Power System.
BPA is a self-financed agency that covers its costs with revenues from Northwest ratepayers and others who purchase its wholesale power and transmission products and services. BPA receives no annual appropriations from the U.S. Congress and repays borrowing from taxpayers with interest.
"BPA's record of payments reflects our conservative approach to fiscal management," said Steve Wright, BPA administrator. "This is a clear indicator that taxpayers are getting a solid return on their investment and that BPA has proven to be financially stable in the long term despite turbulence over the years in economic and power markets, including the West Coast energy crisis of 2000-2001."
As part of its fiscal management, BPA has focused on maintaining appropriate reserves to ensure its ability to make its Treasury payments even during economic downturns and low water conditions.
Wright said that BPA's financial stability, including healthy reserves, is particularly important now. "During this period of global financial stress, BPA's financial reserves provide a cushion against unexpected events, which will benefit both ratepayers and taxpayers."
BPA is a not-for-profit federal electric utility that markets more than a third of the electricity consumed in the Pacific Northwest. The power is produced at 31 federal dams and one nuclear plant in the Northwest and is sold to more than 140 Northwest utilities. BPA operates a high-voltage transmission grid comprising more than 15,000 miles of lines and associated substations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.
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