BPA told to buy power from wind generators. Could lead to confrontation between FERC and fisheries/EPA.
When the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) recently shut off the big wind power farms in eastern Oregon and Washington, because there was too much power being generated from a very high Spring run off, the wind energy companies went for their lawyers. Their lawyers went to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) complaining that BPA was discriminating against their clients. This week FERC decided rather than joust at windmills, they would agree with their makers. “No discrimination” was FERC’s order to BPA.
Although there may be some tweaking here and there to accommodate the times when there’s too much power going into BPA’s regional grid, there are environmental and energy pricing effects that could result from carrying out FERC’s commandment. However, if all they can do is still not enough it could trigger a show-down between FERC and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Endangered Species Act since forcing BPA to spill more water than generate power is a hazard for salmon.
The opening chapter in what might be another long developing legal battle is in the Oregonian. Click here.