United States

United States

Wind wire: Rate increase

Wind power advocates in the US Pacific Northwest breathed a collective sigh of relief when the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) announced a rate increase for the cost of balancing wind with demand and other supply on its transmission grid to $5.70/MWh, considerably less than the $12/MWh initially proposed, but still nearly double the current $3/MWh charge.

BPA is a federal agency that operates the majority of electricity transmission lines in the wind-rich region. Wind advocates won a reduction in the proposed rate by arguing that BPA was not taking into account upgrades in wind forecasting accuracy, which reduces balancing costs. Rachel Shimshak of Renewable Northwest Project (RNP) says the rate is still too high. "While a huge improvement over their initial proposal, the testimony of the Northwest Wind Group, a coalition of wind energy developers and RNP, shows that this rate is still not cost-based, and should be closer to $4.50/MWh." BPA's new rate goes into effect in October.

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