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Economic and dam related articles

Bonneville Power Makes Scheduled
$830 Million Treasury Payment for FY 2011

by Staff
Columbia Basin Bulletin, October 14, 2011

The Bonneville Power Administration made a scheduled payment of $830 million for fiscal year 2011 to the U.S. Treasury on Oct. 5, 2011. This marks the 28th consecutive year BPA has made the payment on time and in full.

BPA's annual Treasury payments comprise principal and interest primarily on the federal investment in the Federal Columbia River Power System's power and transmission facilities. The federal fiscal year ended Sept. 30.

BPA is a self-financed agency that covers all of its costs with revenues from Northwest ratepayers and other purchasers of its power and transmission products and services. BPA receives no annual appropriations from the U.S. Congress. None of the outstanding BPA debt can be forgiven by the U.S. Treasury.

To safeguard the Treasury and American taxpayers, BPA requires in its ratemaking process more than 95 percent certainty of making annual scheduled Treasury payments over two consecutive years (or 97.5 percent certainty of making the annual scheduled payments).

"BPA's stellar record of payments reflects our conservative approach to fiscal management and is a clear indicator that BPA is financially stable," said Steve Wright, BPA administrator.

The Treasury payment included $410 million in principal and $382 million in interest. BPA also paid $38 million in other obligations, including $31 million to ensure that ratepayers - not taxpayers - fully fund post-retirement benefit programs for Federal Columbia River Power System employees.

The principal payment includes $70 million in early retirement of Treasury debt (principal repaid earlier than planned) as part of BPA's debt optimization program. BPA's debt optimization program is implemented in partnership with Energy Northwest, which operates the region's only nuclear power plant, and is designed to restore BPA's federal borrowing authority.

Operation and maintenance expenses for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service projects directly funded by BPA came to $279 million in fiscal year 2011.

BPA is a nonprofit federal agency that markets renewable hydropower from federal Columbia River dams, operates three-quarters of high-voltage transmission lines in the Northwest and funds one of the largest wildlife protection and restoration programs in the world.

Bonneville Power Makes Scheduled $830 Million Treasury Payment for FY 2011
Columbia Basin Bulletin, October 14, 2011

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