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05/07/2021 Portland Update

Good Afternoon,

Thank you for strong attendance at all of our organizational meetings this week! As always, we strive to make our meetings as informative and valuable to membership as possible. Please send any and all feedback on the meetings or other organizational aspects to me.

Sincerely,

John


Proposed Comments on BPA’s Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) Process

At a workshop on April 27, BPA presented the outline of their plan to more formally implement a PSPS process. During the presentation, BPA shared both operational and communications protocols and asked for comments on both aspects. Reaction to the information during the presentation was mixed with most attendees feeling as though BPA did a fair job of addressing the operational aspects in their PSPS plan but falling far short in the communications considerations. Feedback from the NRU Board during our meeting this week echoed that sentiment.

NRU has prepared comments that emphasize our commitment to public safety and at the same time voice the concerns of our members and offer viable solutions to remedy those concerns. A draft of those comments is attached to this update for review and comment. Comments are due by May 11, so please respond directly to John at jfrancisco@nru-nw.com with any questions, concerns or suggestions for additions to the proposed comments.

Submitted Comments on Post-2028

Based on feedback from the Post-2028 Working Group, NRU submitted comments (attached) this week in response to BPA’s presentation at last week’s post-2028 discussion at the Rates and Contracts forum. We supported BPA’s proposal to engage with us twice a month on the list of topics they proposed. We expressed support for creative thinking to develop a mutually beneficial post-2028 construct that is “future-proofed.” We also shared our appreciation for BPA incorporating our previous feedback to include transfer service, transmission and energy efficiency in the list of topics to be discussed this year as they are part and parcel with the overall post-2028 construct (previously, BPA suggested punting those topics to future, separate conversations).

If all goes as planned, BPA and public power will begin meeting twice a month to discuss these issues: system size and allocation; integration of non-federal resources; capacity and resource adequacy; carbon; contract term and cost control; transfer service and transmission; energy efficiency; and Residential Exchange. We will keep the NRU Working Group informed and engaged, as well as the full NRU membership. We continue to use NRU’s adopted principles and policy positions to guide our engagement in these regional conversations.

CAISO Approves Part One Changes to Western EIM Governance

On Thursday, the Western EIM Governing Body and the California ISO Board of Governors approved the first of two parts of changes to Western EIM governance. Part one includes several less controversial changes to the EIM governance structure, including the creation of a Governing Body Market Expert and revisions to the Regional Issues Forum. Finalizing these part one changes is a positive step to improving the governing structure of the EIM, but part two changes are more meaningful, and we remain disappointed that the part two changes remain delayed.  

Part two changes include the primary issue that the GRC has been working on for nearly two years: creation of joint authority governance between the CAISO Board of Governors and the EIM Governing Body. The Governance Review Committee is conducting further process on the joint authority question to further engage and consider the views of stakeholders on the issue. There is not a certain timeline for concluding the part two work, and NRU has joined with PPC to make very clear to the CAISO that this part two work should move ahead as quickly as possible. It is not clear yet whether the part two work will conclude before August, when Bonneville makes a final decision as to whether to join the Western EIM.

BP-22 Rate Case Settlement Continues to Move Forward; TC-22 Also Moves to Conclusion

The BP-22 settlement is still on track to be successful. On Wednesday, the deadline to formally object to the settlement passed with things transpiring essentially as expected. Northwestern, Brookfield, and Idaho Power filed narrow objections to the settlement. The Idaho environmental parties and NewSun Transmission objected in full for differing reasons. With the exception of NewSun, which is a party to the case but has not actively participated, we expected each of these objections, and Bonneville attorneys have indicated that we are likely to proceed with the settlement despite the objections.

The settlement, in its most general terms, means that the settling parties have agreed to a compromise and therefore to no longer contest issues in the case either in the formal Bonneville proceeding or, later, in court.

So, at this point it appears that NRU will not need to make any more substantive filings, and the case will proceed to conclusion under the schedule that Megan presented to the board on Wednesday morning: we will see a Draft Record of Decision on June 25 and a final Record of Decision on July 28.

Meanwhile, work on the TC-22 case is also wrapping up. This case, which was not subject to settlement, is on track to see a Draft Record of Decision on June 30 and a final Record of Decision on July 28.

NRU Member Listening Sessions

Following PPC’s lead, at our quarterly meeting this week, we introduced the idea of holding two listening sessions for NRU members to give voice to their concerns for the future and what might represent the art of the possible. As stated during the meeting, these will not be staff driven presentations but a forum where our members can come together to discuss what’s on their minds and potential future strategic actions.

The listening sessions will be held virtually and are open to all NRU members. Proposed dates and times for the listening sessions are below:

Session #1 – May 20th from 1:00 to 2:30

Session #2 – May 25th from 1:00 to 2:30

It’s crucial we hear from the entire membership, especially when meeting face to face has been so difficult and communication has been limited. Please make time to attend one of these sessions so we can be certain to integrate all voices as we advocate on your behalf.

NRU comments_4-28 BPA p28 discussion_5-6
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NRU_BPA_PSPS_Comments_May2021
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Download PDF • 412KB

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