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04/16/2021 Portland Update


BP-22_Settlement_Paper (1)
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Good Morning – this edition of the Portland Update has important information concerning the BP-22 rate case. Please read carefully and ask any questions you may have or share any concerns with the actions contemplated by NRU.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the amazing weather we are having across the Pacific Northwest.

Sincerely,

Your Team at NRU

Bonneville Responds to Multiple Settlement Proposals in BP-22

This week, Bonneville responded to settlement proposals from multiple parties in the BP-22 rate case by presenting a counterproposal. The counterproposal, which contains proposed resolutions to nearly all contested issues in the case, is a comprehensive and reasonable proposal. The chart below compares the average rate increases compared to BP-20 under the BP-22 Initial Proposal and under BPA’s proposed settlement:


Contingent upon adequate resolution of some legal issues, which are discussed below, NRU staff recommends that NRU join a large slate of public power entities to actively support the counterproposal. Barring objection from NRU members, NRU will be signing onto a joint communication with others to express to BPA our support for the counterproposal. Please contact John no later than NOON ON MONDAY, APRIL 19 if you have concerns about NRU supporting this rate case package counterproposal. John can be reached at jfrancisco@nru-nw.com or (509) 993-4088.

The counterproposal contains the following:

  • Power revenue financing of up to $40 million per year ($55 million lower than initial proposal)

  • Transmission revenue financing of $40 million per year ($5 million lower than initial proposal)

  • No capacity charge for delayed transmission loss returns ($8.2 million benefit to transmission, $8.2 million cost to power relative to initial proposal) with intent of moving towards a concurrent physical return option for the BP-24 rate period

  • Maintain energy and capacity components for financial loss returns

  • Accept BPA initial proposals on EIM cost allocation and $0 net benefits to Power

  • Limit increase in Utility Delivery Charge to 25% (4% lower than initial proposal; $107K reallocation to Network)

Bonneville’s summary term sheet contains more information about the counterproposal and is attached to this Update. Not indicated in the term sheet is a commitment from BPA to engage with customers in a set of comprehensive workshops directed at shoring up BPA’s borrowing authority issues and other long term financial concerns. The joint communication from public power will include the importance of these workshops to our support of the counterproposal.

The pending legal issues center around creating as much certainty as possible for NRU members. As currently drafted, the counterproposal is not a legal settlement, but merely a set of positions from Bonneville and that would not provide as much rate certainty as we would like. We are working on this issue with Bonneville and are cautiously optimistic that we can reach a resolution that mitigates this risk.

Setting aside the technical merits of the counterproposal from BPA, supporting this counterproposal is an opportunity for public power to close ranks and come together in support of a mutually beneficial rate case outcome. On the whole, this counterproposal would be a very positive outcome for the NRU membership, as shown in the chart above. We are cautiously optimistic.

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