Rating Agencies Affirm Strong Ratings
Two financial rating agencies affirmed their strong ratings on Energy Northwest bonds and all other nonfederal debt backed by the Bonneville Power Administration.
Standard & Poor's affirmed its "AA-" (very strong) rating, and Moody's affirmed its "Aaa" (exceptional) rating for EN bonds backed by BPA. Both rating agencies highlighted Portland-based BPA's strong business fundamentals and made specific mention of the benefits of its federal hydroelectric power system and seniority of Energy Northwest debt. The Moody's rating also reaffirmed its strong "Aaa" issuer rating on BPA.
"Strong bond ratings mean BPA pays lower interest costs, and those lower interest costs mean lower electricity rates for customers in the long run," said Steve Wright, BPA administrator.
BPA currently backs $6.2 billion in bonds issued by Energy Northwest for construction of nuclear generating projects in the Northwest. Energy Northwest owns and operates the Columbia Generating Station near Richland, Wash., where Energy Northwest is based.
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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