BPA's Columbia Basin Mitigation Costs
The 2013 costs bring the grand total of all fish and wildlife costs incurred
by Bonneville from 1978 when the costs began, through 2013, to $13.75 billion.
The Bonneville Power Administration said it incurred $682.4 million in total fish and wildlife costs during fiscal year 2013, a total derived in great part by the need to buy and sell power and operate dams with the goal of improving salmon and steelhead passage up and down the federal Columbia/Snake River hydro system.
That total is about par with the previous two years, but well below totals from 2006 to 2010 when BPA estimated that "total costs of fish and wildlife actions" per year ranged from $716 million to $876 million. During those years foregone revenue costs and power purchases dominated the ledger, ranging from $383 million to $566 million.
Foregone revenues are represented by hydro operations carried out to help facilitate salmon and steelhead passage, such as the spilling of water. That water flowing through spill gates instead of powerhouse turbines means lost power, and revenue, generating opportunity. The power purchases debit represents power bought on the open market to replace generation, and revenue, lost as a result of fish operations.
Over the past three years power purchase and foregone revenue costs have been relatively stable at about $200 million (bluefish does the 2013 math: $135.5 + $85.8 million = $221.3 million), according to the draft "2013 Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program Costs Report" released this week by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council for public comment.
The NPCC crunching of BPA numbers will lead to the 13th annual report to the governors of Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington on Columbia basin fish and wildlife costs by BPA. Bonneville, which markets power generated in the federal Columbia-Snake river power system, is obligated under Congress' Northwest Power Act to fund actions that mitigate for the dams' impacts on fish and wildlife.
The NPCC, created by 1980 Northwest Power Act, helps guide fish and wildlife spending through its "direct" program. The Council includes two members each appointed by the governors of the four states. BPA also has fish and wildlife mitigation funding responsibilities aimed at counteracting hydro impacts on salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act.
To view the draft NPCC report, go to: www.nwcouncil.org/media/7099873/2014-5.pdf.
At the June 2014 Council meeting, the report was approved for release for public comment. Please email comments to email@example.com by July 11. www.nwcouncil.org/reports/financial-reports/2014-05/
The purpose of the report is to provide information, not to assess or comment on the costs. Information in the report is provided by Bonneville and is not independently verified by the Council.
In Fiscal Year 2013, Bonneville reported total fish and wildlife costs of approximately $682.4 million, as follows, according to the NPCC report:
The total does not include $2.38 billion in annual obligations to capital investments (the actual annual costs are captured in the "fixed costs" category), or $1.87 billion in credits applied to Bonneville's Treasury debt.
Following is a breakdown of the major cost categories:
draft NPCC report
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