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Economic and dam related articles

Bonneville Power Administration Makes 40th Straight
Treasury Payment, Aided by Financial Policies

by Staff
Big Country News, October 4, 2023

Officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that Dworshak is now ranked at 'low risk of failure' or 4 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most safe. (File / The Spokesman-Review) PORTLAND -- On Oct. 3, the Bonneville Power Administration made its annual payment to the U.S. Department of the Treasury for the 40th consecutive year on time and in full, bringing cumulative payments to approximately $34.6 billion over this period. The total payment for fiscal year 2023 was $1.02 billion. Despite facing an energy crisis at the turn of the century, two major economic downturns, and a significant drop in electricity market prices for several years in the mid-2010s, BPA has consistently made this payment on time and in full for four decades running.

In a year marked by dry conditions and high market prices for power purchases, BPA ends the fiscal year in a healthy financial position due to cost management and agency financial policies, such as the Financial Reserves Policy.

"Completing the annual U.S Treasury payment for the 40th year in a row is a significant milestone that demonstrates BPA's ongoing ability to meet all of its financial obligations," said Marcus Harris, BPA's chief financial officer. "Prudent decisions guided by our financial reserves policy framework have set us up to weather these recent challenging market conditions and remain financially strong."

This year's payment includes $740.7 million in principal and $218.2 million in interest. The principal includes $424.2 million of additional federal debt payment associated with the Regional Cooperation Debt phase 2 program and the FY 2022 Reserves Distribution Clause. The remaining $62.4 million covers a variety of other costs, including irrigation assistance payments that BPA provides to help irrigators repay their share of certain Bureau of Reclamation projects.

BPA is a self-financed power marketing administration that receives no annual appropriation funding from Congress. Instead, BPA recovers its costs primarily through the sale of electric power and transmission services.

Each year, BPA pays back to the U.S. Treasury a portion of the taxpayers' investment in the Federal Columbia River Power System, which includes the federal hydropower dams that produce renewable electricity and the transmission system. BPA sets its rates to maintain an annual 97.5 percent probability of making this payment.

Bonneville Power Administration Makes 40th Straight Treasury Payment, Aided by Financial Policies
Big Country News, October 4, 2023

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