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Reuters
February 13, 2012

Northwest wind generators oppose Bonneville plan

HOUSTON, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Owners of wind farms in the Pacific Northwest objected to a cost-sharing proposal suggested by the Bonneville Power Administration to settle last year's dispute over the curtailment of wind generation, according to a letter sent on Monday to U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

Executives with Iberdrola Renewables, PacifiCorp, NextEra Energy and others called BPA's idea a "clear circumvention of the FERC order to file an open access transmission tariff," in the letter to Chu.

In December, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ordered Bonneville to revise its "environmental redispatch" policy that curtailed electric output from wind farms last spring to keep electric supply from exceeding demand.

"BPA is positioning this cost-sharing proposal as fair - but in reality, everybody loses when BPA is allowed to discriminate against any particular energy source and not let the market set energy prices," the coalition of wind generators said.

FERC said BPA must treat wind generators on equal footing with federally generated hydropower in the Pacific Northwest.

BPA said the policy, implemented between May and July of last year, resulted in the curtailment of 97,557 megawatt-hours of wind generation, or 5.4 percent of the total wind output connected to BPA's grid, for a loss of $2.15 million in renewable energy credits (REC) and production tax credit (PTC) income.

The agency said redispatch was necessary to maintain grid reliability and to balance its many statutory requirements to protect fish. The policy will expire at the end of March.

Read the entire article from Reuters at:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/13/utilities-bonneville-idUSL2E8DDHDS20120213

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