Helping the Region
By now, you are aware of the energy shortage in the Northwest states. Without the dramatic actions you have been reading about in the newspapers, the Bonneville Power Administration ( BPA) will be about 2,400 megawatts short of meeting its customers’ electricity needs when new power sales contracts take effect on October 1st. BPA has two options:
1. They can ask each of their customers for difficult but manageable load reductions, with the expectation of much lower and more stable rates.
2. BPA can attempt to buy the necessary replacement power and raise rates to cover the costs.
Either option may have major economic consequences for industries and utilities throughout the northwest—notable in our area are Alcoa and Okanogan PUD. BPA selected the first option, asking all of the Public Power Utilities, like Douglas PUD, Investor Owned Utilities and Direct Service Industries to reduce the amount of BPA power they purchase.
The Good News
Douglas PUD relies on the Wells Hydroelectric Project for most of its power supply. We did purchase a 50-megawatt block of power from BPA for the period October 1, 2000 through March 31, 2006. This power purchase is not susceptible to the forecasted BPA price increase. In the spirit of cooperation, Douglas PUD sold five percent of that block of power back to BPA for the next two years, thus helping to reduce the regional power shortage and the price increase expected by BPA customers.