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Economic and dam related articles

New Contracts Secure
Clean Power, Encourage Conservation

by Staff
BPA Journal, October 2011

Landmark power contracts that take effect Oct. 1 institute a new price structure through 2028 for hydroelectric power from federal dams, encouraging Northwest public utilities and the public to make the most of the clean, affordable energy.

The Regional Dialogue contracts between public utilities and BPA secure low rates for the hydropower that helps drive the Northwest economy. The contracts also provide for reliable long-term funding for energy efficiency, protection of fish and wildlife and maintenance of the power system.

The primary change under the contracts is that consumer- owned utilities purchasing electricity at cost from BPA pay one rate for a defined share of energy from the Federal Columbia River Power System, which includes 31 federal dams and the region's nuclear plant. Utilities that need additional electricity to meet increased demand can pursue it on their own or purchase it from BPA at a higher rate reflecting BPA's cost of acquiring the additional power.

Setting apart electricity from the federal system under one cost-based rate highlights the economic value of the energy and the system that produces it. The price structure also encourages utilities to stretch the electricity as far as possible through energy efficiency and conservation before turning to other, often costlier sources of power.

Related Pages:
Northwest Conserved 254 Megawatts, Becky Kramer, Spokesman Review, 10/13/11

BPA announces EE funding opportunity

BPA is seeking applications from its customer utilities for innovative behavior-based energy efficiency pilot programs. An example of a behavior-based program is giving residential end-users information about their energy use, goals, rewards and other tactics to encourage efficiency.

BPA's goal is to increase the amount and persistence of energy savings achieved through behavior-based programs in the Northwest. Applications are due Nov. 7. BPA expects to make award decisions in January 2012. For information, go to

New Contracts Secure Clean Power, Encourage Conservation
BPA Journal, October 2011

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