Low Runoff Cuts Hydro Power,
The Bonneville Power Administration in the US has reduced its expectations for hydroelectric power revenue this year by more than $200M because of new forecasts for a continued depressed runoff in the Columbia Basin.
Based on the forecasts, BPA now estimates it will finish the fiscal year with a loss of $6M in modified net revenues instead of the $231.9M in positive revenues projected at the start of the fiscal year in October. BPA markets power from dams in the Federal Columbia River Power System. BPA compiled the new estimates as part of its Quarterly Business Review. However, runoff projections have further declined since the estimates were developed.
The reduced estimates result from a persistent El Nino weather pattern that has brought unusually dry conditions to the Northwest. The February forecast from the National Weather Service's Northwest River Forecast Center called for 79.2M acre-feet of runoff from January through July as traditionally measured at The Dalles in Oregon. That represents 74% of the 30-year average of 107.3M acre feet and would be the lowest runoff since 2001.
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