May NRU Meeting to be Held in Digital Format Only
Staff and NRU Board leadership have decided to conduct our regular quarterly meeting scheduled for May 6th in a digital only format. The specific format and agenda details will evolve as we get closer to the meeting date but as of now, we are anticipating a two-and-a-half-hour agenda with presenters and materials on live video feed while meeting attendees are connected via large scale voice only conference call. Staff is still sorting out video and conference capabilities, but our primary goal is to convey meeting materials as clearly as possible, accommodate all who wish to attend and gather feedback from our membership on materials presented. Like all of you, we are adjusting to our new reality and realize this format will be less than ideal for communicating what can often be highly technical and difficult to absorb information. If follow up meetings or individual conversations are necessary after May 6th, we will be happy to oblige.
This decision has been made well in advance of the meeting out of an abundance of caution, to mitigate any potential cancellation fees from the meeting venue and allow our members to plan accordingly. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to any staff member with questions or feedback regarding this decision.
NRU Submits Comments on EIM/BP/TC-22 Workshop
As proposed in the 3/20 Portland Update, NRU submitted the attached comments to BPA regarding the ongoing EIM/BP/TC-22 rate case workshops. We asked BPA to reintegrate EIM charge code allocations with the discussions on generation inputs and other impacts to BPA’s current rate designs so we can assess the impact of different alternatives. We also asked BPA to provide examples specific to different types of customers, such as: transmission-only, Slice/Block, PTP, Load Following/NT customer, etc. Finally, we asked BPA to not impose additional requirements on Load Following customers related to real-time load forecasts. Today, BPA takes care of short-term load forecasting on behalf of Load Following customers; we do not want additional load forecasting costs or burdens placed on Load Following customers simply due to BPA joining the EIM.
NRU also submitted comments (see attached) to address BPA’s Seller’s Choice product, which allows NT customers to use firm transmission to deliver traditional Mid-C market purchases to load. BPA is about to launch an evaluation of Seller’s Choice to determine if it should be carried over to the next rate period (or permanently), and our comments highlighted the market access benefits to NT customers as well as some data points BPA should consider in its evaluation.
Starting this month, we will now have two full days of rate case workshops, which is appropriate given the amount of work we still need to accomplish before the rate case starts in November. Expect much more to come in the following months!
Thank you to the many NRU members, and numerous others in public power, who took the time to submit oral comments during one of the six public comment conference calls hosted by the co-lead agencies. Your comments represented a crucial and honest perspective amidst the strong anti-dam breaching rhetoric. Voicing support for the preferred alternative presented in the Draft-EIS and concerns over the harm that would certainly be caused by the more extreme alternatives of dam breaching or 24 hour spill to the 125% Total Dissolved Gas limits, provides a foundation for the co-lead agencies to stand firm on the preferred alternative.
A broad swath of stakeholders has submitted requests to the co-lead agencies urging them to extend the deadline for written comments in light of the pandemic. As of this writing, the agencies have not made any schedule changes and all comments are due by 5:00 pm on April 13th. NRU will present our comments for review with this update next Friday.
The staff at NRU hopes everyone has a safe and healthy weekend!