NIPPC and RNW Urge BPA Transmission Reform in New Whitepaper

On May 3, 2023, Renewable Northwest (RNW) and the Northwest & Intermountain Power Producers Coalition (NIPPC) published a whitepaper exploring how to ensure that the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) maintains one of its core purposes—transmitting power needed across the Northwest, regardless of which entity generates or consumes it—at a time of rapid change in the electric industry. The whitepaper can be viewed here. RNW and NIPPC stated that by adopting the reforms proposed in the whitepaper, or some similar combination of reforms, BPA can help ensure that the grid the Northwest needs will be in place and on time so that all consumers in the region continue to enjoy affordable, clean, and reliable electricity.  The whitepaper addresses: 1) the need for transmission in the Pacific Northwest, 2) BPA transmission and its role in the Northwest, 3) BPA’s legal authorities related to transmission, 4) BPA’s transmission planning process, 5) the limitations of BPA’s existing planning process, 6) additional issues unique to BPA that impact transmission planning, 7) avoiding the consequences of business as usual, and 8) how BPA’s practices compare to best practices in transmission planning elsewhere. The whitepaper concludes with twenty-two recommendations for improvement. The whitepaper also has an appendix that summarizes BPA’s record of transmission innovation throughout the agency’s history.

Sanger Law, PC served as legal consultants in the preparation of the whitepaper. Henry Tilghman with Tilghman Associates, and Rob Gramlich and Zachary Zimmerman with Grid Strategies provided consulting services in the preparation of the whitepaper on BPA’s practices and how they compare to best practices elsewhere.

RNW is a regional, non-profit renewable energy advocacy organization based in Oregon, dedicated to decarbonizing the region by accelerating the transition to renewable electricity. RNW members are a combination of renewable energy businesses and environmental and consumer groups and include many transmission customers of BPA.

NIPPC represents electricity market participants in the Pacific Northwest, including independent power producers, electricity service suppliers, and transmission companies. NIPPC is committed to facilitating cost-effective electricity sales, offering consumers choices in their energy supply, and advancing fair, competitive power markets.

These materials are intended to as informational and are not to be considered legal advice or legal opinion, nor do they create a lawyer-client relationship. Information included about previous case results does not assure a similar future result.