Bonneville Power Administration violated the Federal Power Act in taking wind energy off the grid

Filing comments with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the American Wind Energy Association strongly supports leading energy companies of the Pacific Northwest and their complaint against the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), which requests that FERC require BPA to comply with the Federal Power Act.

"BPA is using its control of the region’s transmission system and exploiting unusually high water levels to break contracts," said Rob Gramlich, senior vice president for public policy at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and former FERC policy advisor. "Contracts cannot be broken for wind power or anything else. BPA, a government-owned monopoly, cannot play by different rules and shred contracts with private companies. FERC can rise above the politics and adjudicate based on facts and the law."

AWEA’s comments in support of the filing against BPA at FERC make a clear case that BPA has violated contracts with wind farm generators and discriminated against those generators in favor of its own economic interests. The comments also point out that there are multiple means by which BPA could have satisfied its contractual, reliability, and environmental obligations, instead of curtailing tens of thousands of megawatt-hours of wind generation. The wind industry is counting on FERC to enforce fair and non-discriminatory behavior and send a message that all transmission providers must follow the requirements of the Federal Power Act and honor contracts.

"BPA’s curtailment and redispatch policy will significantly limit further development and investment of renewable energy projects, as it sets a dangerous precedent for the sanctity of contracts in the Pacific Northwest," said Tom Vinson, senior director for regulatory affairs at AWEA. "Solutions need to be found from the current situation to develop a better policy moving forward."