01/15/2021 Portland Update

This week’s Portland Update provides information about the upcoming NRU webinar to discuss the BP-22 and TC-22 rate cases, gives a profile of Jarek Oliver, NRU’s Senior Analyst, summarizes updates on pending carbon regulation legislation in Washington and Oregon, and provides information about PPC’s recent lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Detroit Dam operations.

NRU Rate Case Webinar – Board Direction Will Be Sought

On Thursday, January 21, 9am – 11am Pacific time, NRU will hold a webinar to discuss Bonneville’s initial proposal and NRU reaction to that proposal in the BP-22 and TC-22 rate cases. We will provide a summary of the rate case process, go over Bonneville’s initial proposal, including the agency’s proposed rate levels, review NRU’s proposed priority issues and our proposed testimony in response to Bonneville’s proposal, answer questions, and get your feedback.

NRU staff proposes to submit testimony on the following:

  • Inclusion of revenue financing in Power and Transmission rates

  • Proper compensation of the FCRPS for provision of transmission losses

  • Amount of EIM revenues assumed in the rate case

  • Concern over 29% increase to the Utility Delivery Charge

  • Continuation of seller’s choice in BPA’s Transmission Tariff

  • Proper allocation of redispatch costs in Transmission rates

During the webinar, we will be seeking Board guidance on what to say in NRU’s direct case which is due February 3rd. Materials will be distributed in advance.

You can join the webinar here:

You can also dial in using your phone. (For supported devices, tap a one-touch number below to join instantly.)

United States: +1 (872) 240-3212 - One-touch: tel:+18722403212,,136890021#

Access Code: 136-890-021

NRU Staff Profile #5 -- Jarek Oliver, Senior Analyst

Jarek brings over four years of experience working on power rates issues. Areas of expertise include: Tier 1 rate modeling, Generation Inputs (esp. Balancing Reserves), Energy Imbalance Markets, and BPA policies. Jarek allocates his time to spend 90% doing work for NRU Power Services and 10% doing work for NRU Advocacy. Jarek grew up in Hillsboro and now lives in Portland. He received his bachelor's degree in Economics and Mathematics from Portland State University.

You can reach Jarek at 503-709-0434 or

Oregon and Washington Legislative Processes Begin for Carbon Emissions Regulation

2021 state legislative sessions are getting underway across the Northwest, with Oregon and Washington (again) set to consider major carbon emissions legislation.

In Washington, Governor Inslee is promoting an economy-wide cap-and-trade bill, which could impose compliance requirements on load serving utilities. It is not yet clear how the governor’s cap-and-trade program would interact with Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA) requirements already in place or whether Bonneville would be able to meet compliance obligations for its customers. There are competing versions of the legislation in the Washington House and Senate, and lots of details to be worked out.

In Oregon, the legislature could consider both a cap-and-trade bill and a clean energy procurement bill very similar to the CETA legislation in place in Washington. For now, legislators are focused on CETA-like legislation that would require all electricity procured in Oregon to be from 100% non-emitting sources by 2035. Oregon electricity-sector stakeholders have expressed some optimism that any final bill could take consumer-owned utility needs into account, since the new chairs of the committees of jurisdiction in both the House and Senate are familiar with and somewhat sympathetic to our issues.

NRU’s role in the Washington and Oregon legislative processes is limited but, we believe, valuable. We do not directly engage a lobbyist, but we support our consumer owned utilities’ lobbying organizations and Bonneville by providing perspective, technical information and advice on how legislation would affect Bonneville and load following customers.

Public Power Council Sues the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for Altered Operations at Detroit Dam

On January 8, PPC filed suit against the Corps in the Federal District Court of Oregon to challenge the Corps recent changes to power operations at Detroit Dam. In reaction to a recent court ruling, but without a direct order on point and without allowing for public input, the Corps has stopped power production at Detroit Dam during peak winter hours. This action drastically increases the already high cost to Bonneville’s customers for power from Detroit Dam. The suit is one tactical piece of PPC’s broader effort to eliminate from Bonneville’s power supply the extremely expensive power produced at Detroit Dam and the other Willamette Complex projects.

NRU staff is analyzing the lawsuit and is working collaboratively with PPC to determine how we can most appropriately support PPC’s efforts.

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