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09/04/2020 Portland Update

First Year Musings

One year ago, I began the first Portland Update written under my tenure with a section titled “First Week Musings” so I thought it appropriate to once again start with that theme and share some thoughts. My first thought is how fast time passes and I can’t believe it has already been a year since I joined NRU. The last year has been consumed with team transition and unexpected challenges brought on us by the pandemic. I’m certain many readers will immediately identify with how unexpectedly taxing the last year has been. With that said, I am very pleased with the response of the organization to these challenges.

While we will miss Sybil and Betsy, we were able to hire two exceptionally talented and motivated people to fill their roles and bring the organization back to full strength. In the midst of reshaping the team, we were also able to push forward our Post-2028 initiative and establish NRU as a leader in that area. We did all of this while

advocating passionately for our members in critical processes that continued in spite of the pandemic. A couple of notable processes where NRU was pivotal are the expedited BP-20E rate case to suspend the Financial Reserves Policy surcharge (saving BPA customers $39 million) and the Rate Period Highwater Mark (RHWM) process; NRU was the only association to formally comment on behalf of their members in the RHWM process.

Looking ahead, we will continue to advance our Post-2028 initiative in order to prepare our members for the important resource and contract decisions that are seemingly right around the corner. At the same time, we will keep a keen eye on near term events that have the potential to materially impact BPA. For example, selection of the next permanent BPA Administrator, BPA’s participation in the EIM and the progression of regional resource adequacy conversations and how those conversations will impact BPA.

I will close this section with expression of my heartfelt appreciation for the staff of NRU for their unrivaled expertise and dedication to service of our members. I am equally grateful for the trust each and every member grants us to speak on your behalf on matters that ultimately affect every person in the communities you serve. Your trust is an honor we will continually earn.

One final note. I hope everyone has a fun and safe weekend!

NRU Webinar on BP-22 and TC-22 Issues This Thu., Sept. 10th

Please join us Thursday, September 10th starting at 9am Pacific for an NRU webinar where we will share the latest on the following rate case and tariff proposals from BPA and seek your guidance:

  • Net Secondary Revenues rate design – proposed package

  • Transmission Losses

  • EIM Phase III Letter

  • EIM Cost/Benefits in Power Rates

  • EIM Dispatch Benefits – Allocation between Slice and Non-Slice

  • Energy Imbalance / Generation Imbalance

The materials for the webinar are attached. Please do not distribute these materials beyond NRU members as they contain sensitive rate case analysis and strategy.

If you are unable to participate in the webinar, please review the materials and provide any feedback to Megan (mstratman@nru-nw.com) by Friday, September 11th. Comments are due to BPA the week of September 14th.

NRU Webinar: BP-22/TC-22 Rate Case Issues – Guidance Requested Thursday, September 10, 2020 9-11 am Pacific Webinar: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/367146589 Phone Bridge: (571) 317-3122 Access Code: 367-146-589

RHWM Letter in Response to NRU’s Comments

BPA issued a letter this week in response to the comments NRU submitted on August 14th regarding the BP-22 RHWM process. Our comments expressed concerned over the continued degradation to the clean, reliable Tier 1 system and emphasized the importance of a transparent and responsive RHWM process, particularly given the lack of timely and thorough responses from BPA to the comments we submitted throughout the RHWM process this summer.

BPA’s letter acknowledged the process concerns we had and committed to improve the process next time, saying “We understand and regret that this process did not meet with NRU’s needs; Bonneville strives for transparency and timeliness in all of its public processes.”

NRU had also asked that BPA commit to holding a TRM revision process should a New Tribal Utility (defined as tribal utility that commenced service from BPA after FY 2000) request an extension of New Tribal Utility CHWM augmentation. In its September 1 letter, BPA did in fact commit to doing so, saying “Should the request require an extension of the CHWM augmentation for New Tribal Utilities, BPA commits to opening a Tiered Rate Methodology (TRM) revision process.”

NRU is pleased with the responses provided by BPA in response to our ongoing advocacy.

NRU BP-22 TC-22 webinar_9-10-20_final
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