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US Northwest wind farms no longer paying generation imbalance penalties

Northwest wind farms will soon get a break from penalties imposed on them when they fail to deliver power as scheduled. In late July, the Bonneville Power Administration's (BPA) transmission group approved a petition by state and national wind industry advocates and power marketers, including the federal agency's own power marketing arm, to remove the agency's hefty generation imbalance charges on wind resources, penalties that can be as high as $0.10/kWh. It set aside the issue of other transmission penalties to a later rate case that will begin sometime between November 2002 and January 2003. Taken together, BPA's penalties add as much $0.03/kWh to the cost of Northwest wind generation (Windpower Monthly, March 2002), effectively doubling the cost of electricity produced by wind farms in the region. BPA sent the proposal off to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for approval, which it expects to receive by September 30.

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