12/11/2020 Portland Update

Are You Maximizing the Value of Your NRU Membership?

We want to ensure that all members are aware of the multitude of ways NRU staff can be utilized by members. The highest compliment we receive is when we hear members say that we are an extension of staff and we want our members to treat us as such. This means that every member utility should feel entirely comfortable reaching out to any NRU staff member with questions regarding BPA or our other work whenever those questions arise, regardless of how simple or complicated the question(s) may be.

NRU staff are ready and able to serve the broad spectrum of needs your utility may have. Whether you need a one-on-one deep dive on a specific BPA contract provision, an analysis of the current rate case with your power supply group, a presentation to your board or any other type of support, we encourage members to reach out to us via email or by phone whenever support is needed or wanted!

The last year has been unique in that we have seen many new faces in our membership and on our NRU team simultaneously. Normally we would get to know each other organically at quarterly meetings and other functions but restrictions from the pandemic have made this very difficult. Considering that restrictions on in-person meetings are likely to remain in place for several more months, we will be including a profile of one NRU staff member in each Portland Update for the next six weeks. We realize this can’t replace in-person interactions, but we want all our members, including those who don’t normally attend meetings in Portland, to have a chance to learn about the team in Portland committed to supporting them.

BP-22 and TC-22 Initial Proposal Posted

On Monday, BPA posted hundreds of pages of written testimony describing and defending the proposed Power and Transmission rates for BP-22 (FY 2022-2023) and the proposed changes to the transmission tariff via TC-22. BPA also posted the underlying rates models, including individual member impacts. Additionally, you should be receiving your individual Rates Impact Model (RIM) from your Account Executive (AE) sometime in the next month if you haven’t already. If you have any questions about your proposed rate impacts, feel free to contact NRU staff and we will be able to help as much as we can.

NRU staff is still reading and analyzing BPA’s rate proposals. Thus far, the proposals are consistent with BPA’s “no surprises” workshop.

  • Revenue financing is included in both the Power and Transmission rates.

  • Power includes up to $95M/year, capped at $190M for the rate period. This cost is included in the Composite Cost Pool.

  • Transmission includes $45M/year.

  • BPA proposes to modify the triggers of a Cost Recovery Adjustment Clause (CRAC) and Financial Reserves Policy (FRP) Surcharge to first use the revenue financing included in the base rate to help offset the need for a CRAC or FRP Surcharge triggering.

  • As expected, BPA proposes capacity and energy charges for in-kind and physical transmission loss returns.

  • Because market prices are forecasted to improve substantially compared to what was included in the BP-20 rates, the Non-Slice rate (which is a credit) is significantly higher than BP-20. Remember, the larger the secondary revenue credit, the lower the Tier 1 rate will be, all else equal. The secondary revenue credit is based on a forecast of market prices at the time of the rate case. Actuals will vary. Below is the average annual market price forecast from three different sources (although all are modeled with AURORA, an industry-standard model):

  • BP-20 final rates

  • BP-22 Initial Proposal

  • Market price forecasts NRU obtained from The Energy Authority (TEA) to use in our General Resource Investigation (GRI)

  • Because Load Following customers receive both the Composite rate and the Non-Slice rate, the increase from revenue financing is offset by the forecasted increase in secondary revenues. This results in a proposed average Tier 1 rate decrease for NRU members of just under 3%. CAVEAT! Don’t take this to the bank quite yet. As we shared in last week’s Portland Update, there can be pretty big changes between the Initial Proposal and the final rates that will be set in July.

NRU will host a webinar in January to share further analysis of the BP-22 and TC-22 Initial Proposals, along with our proposed direct case to member guidance.

In the meantime, hear more on the BP and TC proceedings from two of your very own NRU staffers (aka rockstars) via the Public Power Underground ( – Megan and Blake make guest appearances at the seven-and-a-half minute mark.

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