Bonneville Power Administration
Emergency Messages as of 10:29 am, Mon. May. 22
No information currently posted. Operating as usual.
Subscribe to receive FlashAlert messages from Bonneville Power Administration. Please use any browser other than Internet Explorer.
Primary email address for a new account:

Emergency Alerts News Releases  


Manage my existing Subscription

News Releases
: BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer signs a letter to the region explaining his decision to not build the I-5 Corridor Reinforcement Project and to focus BPA, instead, on embracing the modern tools of the modern energy economy to maximize the value of fede
: BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer signs a letter to the region explaining his decision to not build the I-5 Corridor Reinforcement Project and to focus BPA, instead, on embracing the modern tools of the modern energy economy to maximize the value of fede
BPA will not build I-5 Corridor Reinforcement Project (Photo) - 05/18/17

PR 07-17
BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, May 18, 2017
CONTACT: Kevin Wingert, 503-230-4140 or 503-230-5131

BPA will not build I-5 Corridor Reinforcement Project

'We are transforming how we plan for and manage our transmission system and commercial business practices regionwide'

Portland, Ore. -- The Bonneville Power Administration will not build the I-5 Corridor Reinforcement Project, a proposed 80-mile, 500-kilovolt transmission line that would have stretched from Castle Rock, Washington, to Troutdale, Oregon.

The decision, announced today by Administrator Elliot Mainzer, caps a comprehensive public process and reflects BPA's commitment to taking a more flexible, scalable, and economically and operationally efficient approach to managing its transmission system. The project, first announced in 2009, sought to address a reliability issue along a transmission corridor in southwest Washington and northwest Oregon that could lead to power outages.

Following a final environmental impact statement that was released in February of 2016, Mainzer promised the region that BPA would conduct additional analyses. BPA began an extensive review of financial forecasts, planning assumptions and commercial practices. It combined those results with findings of regional utilities and independent industry experts to address the underlying issue -- managing congestion along the I-5 corridor while maintaining the potential for economic growth. Through this process, Bonneville determined it could meet its obligations to provide reliable, robust transmission service with a more innovative, flexible approach.

"Given the extensive work we've done in the past 15 months with regional partners and others, we are now confident that we can continue to meet the demands on the grid without building this 80-mile line in southwest Washington," Mainzer said. "We will always make safe and reliable transmission service a priority. We also recognize a growing need to be flexible and agile in our business practices to create the greatest value to electricity ratepayers in the Northwest."

The decision provides certainty for the more than 300 homeowners and landowners with property along the preferred route identified in the final EIS, and thousands of others who lived near other route alternatives.

"We are very thankful to the stakeholders and the public who actively engaged in this effort, and we appreciate their patience as we continued to look for how we could make the right investment at the right time under constantly evolving market conditions," Mainzer said. "The scope, impact and increasing budget for this project became the catalyst for pushing us to reconsider our existing analytical processes, our commercial business practices and our implementation of federal reliability standards. The outcome is much bigger than a decision to build or not build this line: We are transforming how we plan for and manage our transmission system and commercial business practices regionwide."

For example, in reviewing its project assumptions with regional utilities, BPA identified that it used a conservative approach to risk that went beyond industry standards. By modernizing its approach to develop better real-time visibility of the transmission system coupled with new tools to manage congestion during peak times, BPA may find additional transmission capacity that can be released for operational use or for sale.

Moving forward, BPA is identifying upgrades to existing transmission infrastructure and new business and commercial practices that will preserve the value of the system and meet customer demands. A technical conference will be convened within a month to discuss with our customers our new approach to managing congestion on our transmission grid.

Additionally, in the coming weeks, BPA will begin implementing a two-year pilot project that will provide targeted transmission congestion relief in the greater Portland-Vancouver area during peak periods of electric use in the summer. The pilot project should result in over 100 megawatts of flow relief along the most congested portion of the transmission corridor for four-hour blocks. This "non-wires" pilot is just one of many ideas Bonneville is initiating as part of its transformational approach to meeting customer needs.

ADDITIONAL REGIONAL PERSPECTIVES

U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler: "I commend BPA for listening to and working with Southwest Washington landowners, concerned citizens, community groups and municipalities throughout this process to assess our region's energy needs and determine the best way to meet them.

"Frankly, BPA's willingness to reverse course on the planned 500-kilovolt lattice-steel-tower transmission line that would have bisected our communities is somewhat unprecedented. It should serve as a model for other public entities who need to be willing to constantly reassess their decisions to make sure the community is at the center of them. I applaud their decision and the process they used to get to this point.

"BPA has assured me that it's committed to meeting the present and future energy needs of our region through careful planning, system changes and innovation, and I stand ready to help meet those needs however I can. BPA's work in providing carbonless energy to meet the needs of our community is vital."

"BPA has assured me that it's committed to meeting the present and future energy needs of our region through careful planning, system changes and innovation, and I stand ready to help meet those needs however I can. BPA's work in providing carbonless energy to meet the needs of our community is vital."


Roger Gray, CEO, Northwest Requirements Utilities: "BPA has made a very difficult decision on the I-5 project. Adequate and reliable transmission is critical to customers, but so are affordable rates. Given the financial pressures BPA faces, I understand and support this decision. BPA's customers will need to work with BPA to find alternative solutions such as the non-wires options already being explored by BPA. This will require innovative and creative thinking on the part of BPA and customers to find economic solutions to ensure reliability and affordability."


Beth Looney, president and CEO, PNGC Power: "PNGC Power appreciates the complexity of the I-5 Corridor Reinforcement Project decision. Ensuring future economic growth and access to low-cost power resources are important to PNGC. We trust the administrator's transmission plan will achieve these objectives. As demand for electricity grows, we look forward to partnering with BPA to find the most cost-effective and efficient transmission solutions."


Scott Corwin, executive director, Public Power Council: "This was a huge undertaking for BPA with implications for utilities throughout the Northwest. We appreciate that BPA dug in and conducted a thorough review of cost-effective solutions. We look forward to working with Bonneville to ensure that new solutions meet BPA's obligations to reliably deliver electricity to its core customers."


About BPA
The Bonneville Power Administration, headquartered in Portland, Ore., is a nonprofit federal power marketer that sells wholesale electricity from 31 federal dams and one nuclear plant to 142 Northwest electric utilities, serving millions of consumers and businesses in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana and parts of California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. BPA delivers power via more than 15,000 circuit miles of lines and 261 substations to 475 transmission customers. In all, BPA markets about a third of the electricity consumed in the Northwest and operates three-quarters of the region's high-voltage transmission grid. BPA also funds one of the largest fish and wildlife programs in the world, and, with its partners, pursues cost-effective energy savings and operational solutions that help maintain affordable, reliable and carbon-free electric power for the Northwest. www.bpa.gov
###

Women in Trades Career Fair - inspiring the next generation of women - 05/17/17

Portland, Ore. -- The Bonneville Power Administration and other industry leaders invite you to the Oregon Tradeswomen's 25th annual Women in Trades Career Fair.

This high-energy event, with lots of outdoor activities, offers girls and women the chance to learn about career opportunities and apprenticeships in various trades. Visitors will get a taste of possible careers through interactive demonstrations and conversations with women who actually work in trades every day.

The fair will be held May 19-20 at the NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center located at 16021 NE Airport Way, Portland, Oregon. The fair runs from 9 am to 3 pm both days.

This year's event offers two ways to engage. Friday, May 19, is Girls School Day where students discover new career opportunities. Saturday, May 20, is Careers for Women Day. This event is aimed at adults who want to explore possible trade careers.

"The Women in Trades Career Fair gives us the chance to reach out to our future workforce and promote BPA and the Department of Energy as employers of choice," said Janet Herrin, BPA's chief operating officer. "In addition, this fabulous program demonstrates DOE's commitment to a diverse and inclusive work environment."

Tradeswomen at the fair will demonstrate the skills they use every day such as surveying, welding, security, electrical wiring and carpentry. Workshops and seminars on apprenticeships, recruitment and utility businesses will also be available.

The Women in Trades Career Fair is organized by Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. and made possible through financial and volunteer support by other regional organizations, including BPA.

For more information visit the Women in Trades Career Fair website, or contact Mary Ann Naylor of Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. at 503-335-8200 Ext. 26 (office) or 503-819-9201 (mobile).

BPA selects new senior vice president of Power Services - 05/16/17

Portland, Ore. -- The Bonneville Power Administration has chosen Joel D. Cook to be its senior vice president of Power Services. Cook begins his new position at BPA's Portland headquarters June 12.

"Joel is a talented and results driven leader with 25 years of experience in the energy industry," said BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer. "His expertise will help BPA continue to meet our statutory obligations and deliver value to our preference customers while adapting to the rapidly changing wholesale electricity market. Joel grew up in Montana, so he is also looking forward to returning to his Northwest roots."

As senior vice president of Power Services, Cook will be responsible for BPA's power scheduling functions, generation asset management, power contracts and rates, power purchases and acquisitions, as well as business relationships with 142 retail utility customers. BPA sells about 30 percent of the electricity consumed in the Northwest.

Annually, BPA's Power Services business line markets about 11,000 average megawatts of wholesale power from 31 federal hydroelectric projects in the Columbia River Basin, one nonfederal nuclear plant and several other small nonfederal power plants, producing revenues of nearly $3 billion per year.

"I am thrilled about working for BPA and being part of the long-term vision and value that the federal assets continue to provide to the Northwest," said Cook. "Exciting developments are taking place in West Coast energy markets, and I think my years of experience will add value as policies and practices continue to evolve."

Cook comes to BPA from Talen Energy in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he served as vice president of Retail Marketing and Western Trading. While at Talen Energy, Cook also led the company's Energy Specialty Contractors and Renewable Energy business units. Talen Energy is the largest independent power producer in the U.S.

About BPA
The Bonneville Power Administration, headquartered in Portland, Ore., is a nonprofit federal power marketer that sells wholesale electricity from 31 federal dams and one nuclear plant to 142 Northwest electric utilities, serving millions of consumers and businesses in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana and parts of California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. BPA delivers power via more than 15,000 circuit miles of lines and 261 substations to 475 transmission customers. In all, BPA markets about a third of the electricity consumed in the Northwest and operates three-quarters of the region's high-voltage transmission grid. BPA also funds one of the largest fish and wildlife programs in the world, and, with its partners, pursues cost-effective energy savings and operational solutions that help maintain affordable, reliable and carbon-free electric power for the Northwest. www.bpa.gov

###

Oregon Governor Kate Brown honors Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation - 05/09/17

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation has won an Oregon State Land Board award for its outstanding environmental work. The Tribes' fish habitat restoration project on Catherine Creek near La Grande caught the eye of Oregon Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon State Land Board, which honored the CTUIR and its partners.

Governor Brown presided over the awards ceremony Tuesday, May 9, in Salem. Also in attendance were Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read and Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson. The Catherine Creek project received the Land Board's Stream Restoration Project Award.

With partners such as the Bonneville Power Administration, the Grande Ronde Model Watershed and the Union County Soil and Water Conservation District, the CTUIR restored 1 mile of prime salmon, steelhead and bull trout habitat on Catherine Creek.

The Bonneville Power Administration and its ratepayers funded the $2.8 million project that involved purchasing 545 acres of land and rebuilding approximately 1 mile of streambed, a core portion of a multi-mile restoration effort. BPA staff also provided significant technical assistance to the project. The Catherine Creek restoration effort permanently protects the stream's wetlands, instream water and related summer flows.

"The floodplain is the river. People tend to separate the fish, the riparian zone, the stream and the floodplain from each other, but they're all interconnected in our restoration view," said Eric Quaempts, CTUIR natural resources director. "Restoring floodplains and streamflow is critical to our efforts to offset mainstem Columbia River fish mortality and increase fish numbers."

By restoring floodplain processes, the Catherine Creek project helps improve water quality and fish productivity, and is one of many future steps to ensure first foods are available for tribal members. However, the entire watershed and local community will also benefit from the improvements.

"On behalf of BPA, our utility ratepayers and the region, we are proud of the strong partnerships that lead to successful projects such as Catherine Creek," says Lorri Bodi, vice president of Environment, Fish and Wildlife at BPA. "The Catherine Creek watershed is now on its way to supporting healthy salmon and steelhead populations for the future."

BPA and its ratepayers support projects such as this through the Columbia Basin Fish Accords a 10 year agreement with states and tribes. Accords funding helps to mitigate for the environmental impacts of Columbia and Snake river dams.

Other project partners include the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Bureau of Reclamation, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board and Western Rivers Conservancy.

Catherine Creek is part of the Grande Ronde River Basin that experts believe provides critical habitat for wild salmon, steelhead and bull trout populations listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.

The acreage and restoration site have been turned over to the Tribes for management and stewardship of its valuable natural resources.

Pikeminnow season opens Monday, May 1 - Catch a tagged northern pikeminnow and receive $500 - 05/01/17

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Help save young salmon and steelhead and make big money too!
Monday, May 1, marks the beginning of this year's Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Program in the Columbia and Snake rivers.

State fish and wildlife biologists have specially tagged and released up to 1000 or more northern pikeminnow into the Columbia and Snake rivers, each worth $500. The program also pays registered anglers $5 to $8 per fish, nine inches or longer. The more fish an angler catches, the more each pikeminnow is worth. Last year the top fisherman in the program earned nearly $120,000 in just five-months of fishing.

Northern pikeminnow are voracious eaters, consuming millions of young salmon and steelhead each year. Since 1990, anglers paid through the program, have removed more than 4.6 million pikeminnow from the Columbia and Snake rivers. The program has reduced predation on young salmon and steelhead by nearly 40 percent since it began.

The 2017 Pikeminnow Sport Reward Program begins Monday, May 1, and is scheduled to run through at least Aug. 31, 2017.The season may be extended into September based on the availability of funding.

The program is administered by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission and funded by the Bonneville Power Administration.

For more information about the program call 800-858-9015, visit www.pikeminnow.org and follow us on Facebook.

The Bonneville Power Administration, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is a nonprofit federal power marketer that sells wholesale electricity from 31 federal dams and one nuclear plant to 142 Northwest electric utilities, serving millions of consumers and businesses in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana and parts of California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. BPA delivers power via more than 15,000 circuit miles of lines and 260 substations to 511 transmission customers. In all, BPA markets about a third of the electricity consumed in the Northwest and operates three-quarters of the region's high-voltage transmission grid. BPA also funds one of the largest fish and wildlife programs in the world, and, with its partners, pursues cost-effective energy savings and operational solutions that help maintain affordable, reliable and carbon-free electric power for the Northwest. www.bpa.gov