by Eric Teegarden
Long-range plan could force local utilities to build their own power plants
For the fourth consecutive year, the Bonneville Power Administration has announced it expects to cut wholesale power rates.
Bonneville officials cited collaboration among utility customers, surplus power sales and cost management as key factors in the rate decrease.
The Snohomish County Public Utility District, which buys about 80 percent of its electricity from Bonneville, should receive the discount on part of its power purchases, but how that would translate into its 2007 budget is unknown at this time, PUD officials said.
The new wholesale rates for power sold to some utility customers during 2007 is expected to be down about 3 percent from existing rates. Earlier in the year, Bonneville believed it might need to raise rates. Final Bonneville rates will be announced in September and go into effect Oct. 1.
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