BPA Offers "Compromise" To Wind Energy Companies

Feb 7, 2012

The Bonneville Power Administration has offered a solution for its dispute with wind energy producers. As Rob Manning reports, BPA's offer of compensation is not appeasing wind developers.

BPA infuriated wind power producers last year when it repeatedly shut off wind turbines at night, to deal with an overload of electricity. At the time, dams were producing lots of power from high water. Wind developers argued to federal regulators that BPA was illegally prioritizing hydropower. Regulators asked BPA for a different solution by March. Now, BPA is offering to pay wind producers for any losses they incur this year. In future years, BPA spokesman Doug Johnson says wind companies could shoulder roughly half the costs themselves. He says it's a compromise that's meant to limit the costs to energy customers, as well.

Doug Johnson: "You come up with a compromise like this, you really hope that it suits the needs of everybody involved."

A spokeswoman for Renewable Northwest Project called BPA's approach (quote) "deficient." She says BPA should craft a more equitable, long-term solution.

I'm Rob Manning reporting.