PORTLAND — The Bonneville Power Administration has filed federal paperwork to manage wind and water power when water levels are high. The idea is to compensate wind operators when BPA stops accepting their power.
Last year, BPA had to repeatedly shut off wind turbines at night, when there was a torrent of water going through the hydro system, in order to limit energy on the grid. That policy cost Northwest wind operators money. So, they challenged the policy at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and wind power won.
BPA rolled out a draft policy earlier last month, offering to split costs with the wind generators. Renewable energy advocates were disappointed with the draft, and they’re only slightly happier with this one. Rachel Shimshack directs the Renewable Northwest Project.
Shimshack said “They did say they were going to limit their current policy to one year, as opposed to three. We believe that means they have recognized that this is a flawed policy.”
BPA and Shimshack disagree over whether the policy addresses the feds’ underlying concern: that BPA give wind power operators equal access to the transmission grid.
(This was first reported for OPB News.)
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